(Shanghai) Chinese telecom giant Huawei said Thursday that its home-grown operating system, HarmonyOS, would be available on its smartphones as early as next year after U.S. sanctions prevented it from using the Android system.
HarmonyOS, unveiled last year, currently equips only some of the Shenzhen-based firm’s products, including connected TVs.
The operating system is an essential piece of software for the operation of an electronic device. The vast majority of cell phones in the world are equipped with Google’s Android system or Apple’s iOS.
At a conference, one of Huawei’s leaders, Richard Yu, announced that the source code of HarmonyOS would be available in December to application developers. The group’s first phone running the operating system will be launched in 2021, he said.
“We will showcase the work of Chinese developers to the rest of the world, hoping to see more “TikTok” in the future,” Yu said, referring to the popular short video application in the focus of the Trump administration.
Washington has in recent months multiplied pressure on its allies to ban 5G equipment from Huawei, an area in which the group is a leader, arguing that there are risks in terms of cybersecurity.
Huawei is also on an American blacklist to prevent it from acquiring “made in USA” technologies indispensable to its telephones. The firm is therefore forced to accelerate the development of its own technologies.
Despite pressure from Washington, Huawei became in the second quarter the world’s largest seller of telephones, dethroning South Korea’s Samsung.