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Huawei Technologies plans to introduce a new operating system for smartphones, named Harmony O.S. The new operating system is primarily viewed as a rival to Google Android. The move comes at a time when the U.S. has placed multiple trade bans on the Chinese tech giant.

Harmony O.S. was first unveiled last year and was described as a multi-platform operating system that could be installed in watches, laptops, and mobile devices. It was not marketed as a challenger to Android mobile operating system.

According to analysts, this is the closest thing to a solution that Huawei can deploy to deal with their recent challenges, that Trump administration has created with the different trade bans.

A way forward

After being added to the U.S. Treasury’s entity list last year, Huawei cannot get Google products, which puts the company at a disadvantage and prevents them from making new Huawei smartphones that use Android or Google’s Mobile Service packages.

On Thursday, Wang Chenglu (the president of Huawei’s consumer business group software department) and Richard Yu (the consumer business group CEO) gave an update.

Wang said that the milestone they are marking during their annual developer conference is Harmony OS 2.0. He added that it would be available to all hardware manufacturers who would like to use it. 

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Hope on the horizon

Their alternative for Google Mobile Services is Huawei Mobile Services, which is now the world’s third-largest mobile app ecosystem. Huawei reports that overseas customers like HMS are making phones with the services, with a spike in sales since May.

Yu said that the company shipped 240 million phones last year, which gave them second place in market rankings for 2019.

However, the restrictions hurt them, and in recent months, the shipments fell to 105 million units in the first half of 2020.

Harmony OS is the software solution for Huawei, now it has to find a way to get high-end chips that can power the new Huawei smartphones. They are not out of the woods yet.

Also read: Huawei is heading towards bankruptcy, desperate for a way out