Huawei launches series of new products, with HarmonyOS embedded in 220 million devices
Published: Dec 23, 2021 09:26 PM
Huawei's launch event is held in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on December 23, 2021. Photo: Shen Weiduo/Global Times

Huawei's launch event is held in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on December 23, 2021. Photo: Shen Weiduo/Global Times

China's tech giant Huawei, under a US crackdown for more than two years, launched new products ranging from smartphones, watches, smart eyewear and laptops to the HarmonyOS Smart Cockpit during a high-profile event in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province on Thursday.

The much-anticipated launches, featured in the most prominent flagship event as the year ends, are seen by industry observers as a proof that Huawei is still thriving and moving forward, despite the US ban that cut it off from accessing critical semiconductor chips and software.

One of most eye-catching products launched during the event was the Huawei P50 Pocket, its latest flagship foldable smartphone. According to the firm, the Huawei P50 Pocket, which lacks the 5G function due to the US chip ban, features a strong rear camera portrait with selfie algorithms, and it uses the big camera sensor to boost low-light performance.

The smartphone is also described as a rival to Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 3. 

Huawei also launched the watch D series, Huawei eyewear, the next-generation MateBook X Pro and electric vehicle AITO M5, highlighting an all-scenario, smart and fully connected ecosystem centered on HarmonyOS - its self-developed operating system, replacing Google's AndroidOS.

"There are now more than 220 million Huawei devices running HarmonyOS, and shipments of HarmonyOS Connect devices increased by over 100 million in 2021," Richard Yu, Huawei's executive director and CEO of the Consumer Business Group and CEO of the Intelligent Automotive Solution BU, said at the launch event. 

"Huawei has never stopped innovating in the face of seemingly endless supply constraints. We appreciate all the consumers and partners who have been with us all the way. We will continue to create more extraordinary products and experiences that live up to expectations. Winter will be over soon. Then we'll embrace the spring," Yu said.

While the spring is yet to come for the company that's still striving to find new growth points amid a shrinking smartphone share.

Lacking strong hardware support, Huawei's new product launches seem to be "struggling," Jiang Junmu, a close follower of Huawei, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"The firm is now trying to maintain a presence in the smartphone sector, and continues to 'test the water' in wider fields such as watches, eyewear, notebooks and even automotive solutions," Jiang said, adding that the firm hasn't found a sector that can offset the decline in the mobile phone business, and it is still seeking that by launching more such products.

Huawei reported revenue of 455.8 billion yuan ($71.19 billion) in the first three quarters of 2021, a "vertiginous drop" as its consumer business still suffered severely amid the US chip ban. Revenues fell 32 percent, a significant year-on-year slide.