Huawei plans to introduce its Harmony operating system, seen as the company’s best bet, to replace Google’s Android mobile operating system, on to smartphones next year, the head of its consumer business group said on Thursday.
Richard Yu made the comments at the company’s annual developers conference in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan.
He also said the company plans to open to developers a beta version of the system for smartphones in December.
Huawei’s addition to the US entity list in May last year barred Google from providing technical support for new Huawei phone models using Android, and from Google Mobile Services (GMS), the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based.
In August, the US expanded earlier restrictions aimed at preventing Huawei from obtaining semiconductors without a special license, including chips made by foreign firms that have been developed or produced with US software or technology.
Analysts said the restrictions threaten Huawei’s crown as the world’s largest smartphone maker, and that its smartphone business would disappear entirely if it could not source chipsets.
With US-China relations at their worst in decades, Washington is pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, arguing it would hand over data to the Chinese government for spying. Huawei denies it spies for China.
A key challenge for Huawei is to show that its proprietary AppGallery and Huawei Mobile Services can integrate local apps from different countries and regions, said Tarun Pathak, an industry analyst with Counterpoint.
“The lack of Google services seriously impacts these devices’ appeal against competitors running a full commercial version of Android,” he said.
© Thomson Reuters 2020