The ongoing trade war between the Trump administration and the Chinese telecom has, surprisingly, pushed Huawei to improvise and adapt. One of the consequences is that Huawei’s access to Google’s services has been revoked. Now it’s making a plan.
Up until now, Huawei still has access to Android’s open-source programme, which allows it to run the operating system on its devices. But soon after the company was placed on the US Entity List, it announced its own OS called HarmonyOS. At that point, however, Harmony OS wasn’t necessarily destined for smartphones, but rather things like networking equipment and routers.
At its 2020 Developer Conference, Huawei announced that it’s finally ready to roll out HarmonyOS to more devices. “… a beta version of the HarmonyOS 2.0 SDK available to developers today, though it’ll initially only support smartwatches, car head units, and TVs,” The Verge details.
Huawei CEO Richard Yu also announced that a developer kit for the smartphone version of HarmonyOS will be available as soon as December 2020, while a smartphone running the OS may launch into the market in 2021.
It’s important to note that Huawei has said in the past that if it could, it would continue running Android and Google services on its devices for the foreseeable future as the company has a mutually beneficial relationship with Google. But following more stringent recent sanctions against the company, it’s becoming harder to rule out its own operating system.