Huawei Technologies unveiled its self-made operating system, saying that migrating apps from Android to the new system is relatively easy but that it would prefer to continue using Google’s Android OS on its smartphones if allowed.
“Huawei’s Harmony OS is ready for smartphones anytime,” Richard Yu Chengdong, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, said at the start of the company’s 2019 Developer Conference on Friday.
“Migrating Android apps to Harmony is very easy and only requires one or two days’ work.”
However, Huawei is not planning to install Harmony on its smartphones yet as Google’s Android remains the top choice and it wants to protect the current app ecosystem.
Harmony has been widely anticipated after the world’s number two smartphone vendor was put on a US trade blacklist in May, blocking its ability to buy a range of American-made technology including Google’s Android for smartphones and Microsoft’s Windows operating system for personal computers. Yu said Harmony was capable of supporting a range of products and its own ecosystem, and is compatible with all Android applications and existing web applications.
Analysts gave the launch a cautious welcome.
Past attempts by other companies to create an Android alternative have not been successful. Microsoft tried to develop a layer on its Windows OS that could run Android apps in the past but the American software giant failed as not all Android apps could run smoothly. Samsung also tried to replace Android on smartphones with its Tizen OS, but that effort also came to nothing.
Harmony will first be used on new smart display products to be launched by budget brand Honor on Saturday. The first smart display product by Huawei will also be equipped with its HiSilicon “Honghu 818” intelligent chipset and smart pop-up camera for large screens.
Huawei is considering installing Harmony on its new flagship handset the Mate 30.
Huawei will make Harmony an open source technology for all developers, and aims to make it the world’s most advanced operating system for the next-generation of smartphones and IoT applications.
Harmony will be ready for domestic PCs, smartwear products and automobiles in 2020, smart speakers and earphones in 2021, and more devices like virtual reality glasses after 2022, according to Huawei
The company is also working on a app ecosystem rival to the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Google and Microsoft both suspended access to their products for new Huawei devices with only a 90-day reprieve from the US government, in the wake of it being put on the Commerce Department’s Entity List in May.
Although US President Donald Trump said at the Osaka G20 summit in June that some restrictions would be lifted against Huawei, the precise situation remains unclear.
The US trade ban wiped out at least 10 million smartphone shipments for Huawei in the second quarter.
Source : Various