Huawei to launch new operating system for phones in June

Photo: EPA A man stands in front of the Huawei trade fair stand during the first day of the Auto Shanghai 2021 motor show in Shanghai, China

China's Huawei Technologies announced it will launch its new Harmony operating system for smartphones on 2 June, which, as reported by Reuters, is company's biggest move. At the same time it is a necessity aimed at recovering from the damage done by US sanctions to its mobile phone business.

The use of its own operating system will mean it will no longer be reliant on Android, since US sanctions banned Google from providing technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services - the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based. But the new HarmonyOS will only go some way to mitigating the impact of the 2019 sanctions that also barred Huawei from accessing critical US-origin technology, impeding its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

Therefore, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei this week called on staff to "dare to lead the world" in software in a bid to move into business areas that can't be affected by US sanctions, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

"The company will need to take a more "open source" approach to development and should try to attract more software experts from overseas as part of the pivot," it said.

It was not immediately clear, however, whether Huawei will be launching new smartphones at the same time or if there will be updates for existing phones or how fast the rollout might occur.

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