Huawei to launch first HarmonyOS-equipped smartphone amid Android doubts

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/8 22:43:39

George Zhao, president of Huawei's sub-brand HONOR, unveils HONOR Vision series during the Huawei Developer Conference held in Dongguan, south China's Guangdong Province, Aug. 10, 2019. HONOR Vision is the world's first smart screen equipped with HarmonyOS, or Hongmeng in Chinese, Huawei's open-source operating system. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)

Huawei is set to debut the smartphone version of its self-developed operating system (OS) HarmonyOS on its flagship P40 smartphone, which is expected to be launched in March next year, the Chinese tech company told the Global Times on Sunday.

"If we're still not allowed [by the US government] to access Google's Android service, we will consider using our own HarmonyOS. In fact, our OS is ready but we will not use it in the first place because we're still considering relevant decisions and cooperation," Richard Yu Chengdong, head of the company's consumer business, said at a press briefing at the consumer electronics exhibition IFA 2019 in Berlin, Germany. The event opened on Friday and runs until Wednesday. 

Regarding whether Huawei might sell its Kirin chipset to other vendors, Yu said that the company is still discussing the matter. "We only produce it for self-use right now, but we're also considering selling the chip to [players in] other industries, such as the Internet of Things."

HarmonyOS is widely regarded as Huawei's plan B to replace Google's Android OS amid the US-led crackdown on China's tech rise. In mid-May, the US Commerce Department put Huawei on a blacklist that could ban Google from supplying Android services to Huawei. Washington gave Huawei a 90-day reprieve and then extended the temporary trade license for another 90 days.

Huawei launched HarmonyOS in August. Along with the launch, it also unveiled its first product to be equipped with HarmonyOS - a new smart TV under its Honor brand. The company said at that time that Huawei can "use its own OS anytime if needed."

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