Huawei is still holding on to Google’s Android platform even after the launch of their in-house operating system, Harmony OS. In a New York press event, Huawei’s Senior Vice President Vincent Yang said that they are planning to maintain one standard and one ecosystem with Android. He adds that their new OS is the company’s plan B in case the US imposes a ban that will deny them access to key Android components.
Huawei on doing business in the US: "we want to maintain one technology … one system … one global supply chain." (Inference: they want to keep using Android on phones, but have pointed out that they have Harmony OS if they can't.) pic.twitter.com/yyHwm2v2qj
— Michael Fisher (@theMrMobile) August 21, 2019
The Chinese tech giant was recently granted an extended temporary general license for another 90 days after the initial one expired early this week.
According to the company, Harmony OS is faster than Android as it has relatively fewer lines of code and its fast performance makes it suitable for a broader set of devices like TVs, smart cars and smartwatches. The company already announced Honor Vision TV that uses Harmony OS. Mr Vincent said that Huawei is expecting to launch a smartwatch powered by their new OS.
The executive hinted that the company’s next flagship will run on Android, probably the Mate 30 series which will come with EMUI 10 based on Android Q already baked in. He added that they’ll only switch to Harmony OS for their smartphones as a last resort if the ban is enforced and they couldn’t access Android anymore.
Mr Vincent continued to say that they’re unlikely to launch a Harmony-powered smartphone this year but that’s dependent on the ban. If it gets imposed, they would launch one.
“You never know,” he commented.
Harmony OS has a long way to go – it was recently launched at Huawei’s developer conference early this month and is yet to have apps on the platform. The main hindrance will be the lack of Google services which most users have grown accustomed to.
We know that Huawei is working on a Google Maps alternative aptly called Map Kit. Map Kit isn’t meant to immediately replace Google Maps but to be a platform for developers to come up with apps that will utilize Map Kit’s mapping capabilities.
Commenting on the recently extended reprieve, Mr Vincent added that Trump’s delay isn’t of much help to Huawei as they still can’t buy key components from suppliers.