This year, will Huawei finally decide to use its HarmonyOS operating system for smartphones? A recent article published by Chinese media outlet Global Times suggests that this is possible. Huawei is one of the main manufacturers of Android smartphones. But since 2019, the company has been hampered by sanctions imposed by Washington. As a reminder, these prevent American companies from doing business with Huawei.
As a result, Google, for example, can no longer provide its license for manufacturers of Android smartphones to Huawei. This means that the latter can no longer preinstall Google apps and services, including the Play Store, on their smartphones. Despite this, Huawei continued to offer Android smartphones, which use the open source version of the operating system. But at the same time, the Chinese manufacturer has developed its own operating system: HarmonyOS.
And according to the Global Times report, Huawei could finally launch this OS on a smartphone. The Chinese media quotes Ma Jihua, an analyst who would follow Huawei closely. He predicted that the manufacturer could launch a smartphone using HarmonyOS before the end of the year, in order to take advantage of the explosion of 5G in China.
A situation that is complicated
Huawei's situation is not going to get any better. While the manufacturer could no longer use the license from Google for new smartphones, it was still receiving updates from the Mountain View firm for models that were launched before the arrival of US sanctions.
But recently, the provisional license that allowed this collaboration between Google and Huawei expired. And Washington does not appear to have any intention of renewing this license, which was only intended to allow users of Huawei devices or equipment to transition to alternatives.
At the same time, Huawei could also face a shortage of processors (and other components). In May 2020, the United States announced new sanctions against the manufacturer. These prevent non-US companies that use US technology or equipment from supplying Huawei.
And unfortunately, the company that produced the Kirin processors for the Chinese brand is affected by these measures. As a result, Huawei will soon run out of processors.