China based multinational Huawei Technologies plans to launch the company’s operating system (OS), Harmony next year for advanced devices, including smartphones.
The announcement was made by CEO Richard Yu at the company’s annual developer conference in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan.
Analysts believe that the Harmony OS is the company’s best bet to replace Google’s Android mobile operating system.
In May last year, Huawei’s inclusion to the US entity list prohibited Google from offering technical support to new Huawei phone models using Android and also from Google Mobile Services (GMS), the pre-installed apps of Google on Android devices.
Further, in August this year, the US expanded restrictions to prevent Huawei from obtaining semiconductors without special licenses, including chips made by foreign companies that were developed or manufactured using US software or technology.
Analysts say that the restrictions challenge Huawei’s position as the largest smartphone maker in the world and its smartphone business would vanish if it couldn’t source chipsets.
“A key challenge for Huawei is to show that its proprietary AppGallery and Huawei Mobile Services (HMS – alternative to GMS) can integrate local apps from different countries and regions. The lack of Google services seriously impacts these devices’ appeal against competitors running a full commercial version of Android,” says an industry expert.
Wang Chenglu, president of Huawei consumer business group’s software department confirmed that the beta version of the system for TVs, car infotainment systems and watches are already available while it will be made available for smartphones in December.
Last year, Huawei shipped 240 million smartphones, which gave it the second place in the global market, but the software shortages has weakened its sales in recent months and shipments declined to 105 million units in the first half, according to reports.