Announced in August 2019, the arrival of HarmonyOS on Huawei phones is becoming clearer. In fact, on the occasion of the first day of the HDC (Huawei Developer Conference), the company announced that it plans to launch its HarmonyOS operating system as a replacement for Android on your smartphones in 2021. to overcome the obstacles posed by the United States.
Also along with the ad the launch of a first beta version of Harmony OS 2.0 SDK for smart watches, car radios and televisions and a second for smartphones will be launched in December.
Huawei introduced HarmonyOS at HDC 2019 and introduced it as a multi-device platform that supports watches, laptops, and smartphones, rather than a similar competitor to Google's Android operating system.
According to analysts, it is Huawei's most successful Android replacement, after it was added to the US entity list in May 2019, preventing Google from providing technical support for the Android system and mobile services. of Google (GMS) on their new phones.
Huawei announced the second version of HarmonyOS and details of plans to adapt it to a wider range of devices, including devices from other smartphone manufacturers.
“The step we take is that we support Huawei devices from HarmonyOS 2.0, but at the same time, HarmonyOS 2.0 could also be available for devices from other providers. HarmonyOS 2.0 will be available to all hardware manufacturers, ”said Wang Chenglu, president of Huawei's software department.
This second part of Wang's statement It could be a cause for concern for Google, as Huawei clearly says that it is ready to compete with it.
And if the system is successful, other Chinese or Asian companies that fear future retaliation from the United States may be in favor of equipping their phones with this operating system.
Will American pressure lead to a strong Android competitor? At the moment, nothing allows to affirm it, because HarmonyOS is hardly launched. The release schedule requires a two-stage release.
From this first day of HDC, Huawei makes a beta version of the HarmonyOS 2.0 SDK available to developers. This beta version will only support smart watches, car radios and televisions.
A smartphone version of the SDK will follow in December 2020, and Richard Yu, president of Huawei's consumer business group, has hinted that phones with HarmonyOS could appear next year. Another announcement from Huawei also attracted attention today.
The company is also launching its OpenHarmony project, a project that allows developers to trust an open source version of the operating system, similar to what AOSP is for Android. As of today, the project only supports devices with 128MB of RAM or less, but this memory limit will be lowered to 4GB in April 2021 and completely phased out in October 2021.
Analysts say that HarmonyOS is a project of strategic importance for Huawei.
It could be a bulwark against sanctions that prohibit the Chinese giant from doing business with US companies.
Currently, Huawei is forced to ship its Android phones without Google services, affecting its application ecosystem and its functionality for users outside of China.
Also, its GMS alternative is Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), which according to Yu is now the third largest mobile app ecosystem in the world after the App Store and Google Play Store.
Zhang Pingan, president of Huawei's Consumer Cloud division, added, saying that foreign customers accept HMS and that sales of HMS-powered phones have "skyrocketed" since May.
Yu said the company shipped 240 million smartphones last year, earning it a second place in the market in 2019, but added that the software shortage has affected sales in recent months and shipments. it had dropped to 105 million units in the first half. But there are still other challenges for Huawei.
In August, the United States extended previous restrictions to prevent Huawei from sourcing semiconductors without a special license.
Analysts said Huawei's smartphone business would disappear entirely if it couldn't get the chips.