Huawei just launched its answer to Android — Harmony OS

Huawei just launched its answer to Android — Harmony OS

  • Huawei just launched its own operating system for smartphones — Harmony OS.
  • It's the Chinese smartphone manufacturers response to Google's Android, which Huawei can no longer employ on new smartphones.
  • This could be a game changer for the smartphone industry where Huawei is the second largest player in the market globally, after Samsung.
Huawei just launched its operating system, Harmony OS, during its developers conference in China.

The new operating system won't only be a substitute for Google's Android operating system but it is also rumoured to replace Microsoft Windows on Huawei manufactured laptops and tablets in the future.

Richard Yu, Huawei's CEO, stated that the new system is 'ready to go' for smartphones. But, as of now, the Chinese tech giant as no plans to switch over to the operating system for all of its devices due to 'considersation of partnerships and the ecosystem'.

Stepping into the arena

Huawei is the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, after Samsung. Launching a new operating system could influence other Chinese smartphone manufacturers to switch over from Android as well ⁠— especially since Harmony OS is based on open source principles.

This means that its based on the same functionality as the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) where developers and companies will have access to the code so that they an modify it for their own devices.

Ironically, while Google may have shunned Huawei, Harmony OS will still be able to run Android apps. Including such a feature could be to ensure that users don't face any issues when switching over from Android to Harmony or it it's a just that Huawei is learning from Microsoft's smartphone experience.

Why does Huawei need Harmony?

The issue began when the US blacklisted Huawei from conducting business with American companies. Amid the US China trade war, tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Broadcom and ARM temporarily suspended their business contracts with Huawei in order to comply with the new restriction.

While the future of the company with respect to the US is still uncertain, Harmony OS is a way for the company to hedge its position in case things take a turn for the worse.

It won't be launching Harmony OS on smartphones but Yu disclosed that the operating system slowly start to make an appearance on Smart TVs, wearables and laptops by 2020.

That being said, Google's Android dominates most smartphones around the world. It's the single largest operating system for phones globally.

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