Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, announces HarmonyOS 2.0 at its annual developers’ conference in Dongguan, Guangdong province on Sept 10, 2020. [Photo by Ma Si/chinadaily.com.cn]
Huawei Technologies Co said on Thursday that its in-house operating system HarmonyOS will be used in smartphones next year, marking a breakthrough in Chinese companies’ efforts to commercialize self-developed operating systems and to build their own globally competitive software ecosystems.
Analysts said the increasing use of HarmonyOS showcases Huawei’s resilience and technological prowess, but challenges still exist as the latest US chip bans weigh on Huawei’s smartphone business.
Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, announced the system update HarmonyOS 2.0 at its annual developers’ conference on Thursday in Dongguan, Guangdong province, and said the system will be used in its smartphones next year.
HarmonyOS was unveiled a year ago, after Washington restricted Huawei from using Google’s Android operating system. HarmonyOS is arguably the biggest push by Huawei to build its own software ecosystem, and it is already used in Huawei’s smart TV products.
With the upgrade of the system, HarmonyOS will be used in smartwatches, personal computers and other internet of things devices later, Yu said.
The progress came after the US government expanded a series of chip restrictions on Huawei in the past few months that have limited its access to semiconductor components and equipment produced by companies using US technology.
Jia Mo, an analyst at market research company Canalys, said the tightened restrictions will result in a shortage of chips for Huawei to produce enough smartphones next year, which will make it difficult for the company to popularize HarmonyOS on its handsets.
But the US government is also facing mounting pressure from the country’s own semiconductor association and chip companies. This may force it to relax the regulations in the near future, experts said.
Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said on Thursday that as China is a major global manufacturing powerhouse of electronic products, its demand for semiconductors has been growing steadily, and the nation has become a major driving force of the global semiconductor market.