Chinese technology giant Huawei is planning to roll out the Harmony operating system to its smartphones starting next year.
Mobile CEO Richard Yu provided details of the company's proprietary OS during a presentation at the Huawei Developer Conference (HDC) in Dongguan on Thursday. He revealed that the company also intends to offer the new OS to other smartphone makers to use as an alternative to Google's Android.
Huawei released the first version of Harmony last year as its answer to Android and iOS. When the Trump administration banned the Chinese firm from using American technology or services last year, Huawei had no other option than to develop its own mobile OS as an alternative.
Huawei showed off the first version of Harmony OS at HDC 2019. At the time, the company said that it had developed the OS for use in smart TVs, smartwatches and other smart home gadgets.
"HarmonyOS is completely different from Android and iOS," Yu said last year.
"It is a microkernel-based, distributed operating system that delivers a smooth experience across all scenarios. It has trustworthy and secure architecture, and it supports seamless collaboration across devices. You can develop your apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices."
At HDC 2020, Huawei said that its own OS will roll out to smartphones as well, with a beta SDK expected by the end of the current year and a phone launch around October 2021.
"Starting on 10 September, HarmonyOS is open to 128KB-128MB IoT devices, such as smart TVs, wearables, cars, and more. In April 2021, we will open it to 128MB-4GB devices and in October 2021, HarmonyOS will be opened for devices above 4GB," Richard Yu said, according to XDA Developers.
The company also saod that a software update for Harmony OS 2.0 will bring changes to the data management, software bus and security, while also introducing a new adaptive UX framework.
HMS Core, Huawei's counterpart to Google Play Services, now includes 96,000 apps, the company announced at HDC 2020. HMS Core had 81,000 apps in July and 60,000 in March.
Huawei also plans to open-source the Harmony OS. The open-source project (OpenHarmony), which has been donated to China Open Atomic Open Source Foundation, will be launched in stages, according to the company.
Open-sourcing Harmony would allow developers to build an open-source version of the OS, much like they can do with Android with AOSP. The move could drive adoption across different mobile devices.
Yu said that the US sanctions, which the US government imposed in May to target Huawei's ability to buy smartphone chips, are causing major issues for the company, but Huawei is working to address all issues.
"The status quo does not represent the future. In 5G, we are now far ahead. We are ahead of Ericsson by more than one and a half years, and Ericsson is ahead of Nokia by five years," Yu said.
"Our only mistake is that we were born in China," he added.
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