September 10—Chinese conglomerate Huawei announced plans to release smartphones powered by a new version of its Harmony operating system in 2021. The corporation intends for Harmony OS 2.0 to supplant the non-Google supported version of Android its mobile devices currently use.
Richard Yu Chengdong, the firm’s consumer business group head, made the declaration during its annual developer conference on Thursday.
Huawei’s handset platform transition follows the U.S. government’s recent efforts to prevent it from accessing American designed technology.
Huawei’s Plans for Harmony OS
XDA Developers reports Huawei has big plans for Harmony OS 2.0 despite the insecurity of its smartphone business.
At present, Huawei’s mobile service system encompasses 490 million users, 1.8 million developers, and 96,000 applications. Yu indicated his company views the revamped platform as a tool to drive the growth of its digital ecosystem.
The executive explained the latest iteration of Harmony OS features improvements to its security, data management, software bus, and a new user interface framework.
In addition, Huawei designed its platform to support a range of different products. The company debuted the operating system with its Honor Vision line of televisions and claims it can power smartwatches and vehicle infotainment systems. The firm made a Harmony OS 2.0 beta available to home entertainment, wearable, and automotive software developers on Thursday.
Huawei intends to release a new smartphone software development kit (SKD) for its updated platform later this year. The company will also install Harmony OS 2.0 on all of its 2021 model handsets.
Currently, Huawei’s mobile devices run an open-source version of Android. However, the firm began developing a proprietary electronic device operating system years ago. But after the U.S. Commerce Department put the brand on its Entity List last May, it lost access to Google Mobile Services.
Because of that development, the Sino conglomerate cannot distribute critical updates to its version of Android.
Consequently, the company accelerated the development of Harmony OS to provide consistent operating system support to its smartphone customers.
Will Harmony OS 2.0 Revive Huawei’s Smartphone Business?
Under current conditions, Huawei’s overhauled software platform, while promising, will not be enough to revitalize its smartphone business.
One of the key reasons the manufacturer’s mobile device business got so big is the quality of its components. Technology reviewers claimed the firm’s Kirin processors rivaled those made by Apple and Qualcomm. However, the Commerce Department’s newly issued export controls will prevent the company from creating a new generation of chipsets.
Huawei designed its Kirin smartphone central processing units (CPUs), but it outsourced its production to the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). However, the fabricator dropped the telecom as a client to comply with Washington’s sanctions.
In addition, Samsung and SK Hynix are also reportedly terminating their electronic components supply deals with Huawei later this month.
Without new shipments of cutting-edge processors and memory chips coming in, the corporation cannot continue as a handset manufacturer. At this point, all Harmony OS 2.0 can do is potentially increase its maker’s non-core revenue.