In Dongguan, China, at the Huawei Developers’ Conference, Huawei executives revealed the company’s plans for the future. Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Business Group, quickly unveiled the new Huawei operating system, called Harmony OS (called Hongmeng in China but not overseas).
Harmony is not a mobile phone system to replace Android but rather is designed to work on devices from tablets to phones, smartwatches to cars and much else besides. And one other key thing: it’s open-source. This last fact gave rise to the biggest cheer in the basketball stadium Huawei had taken over for the event.
It means that Harmony can be adopted by third-party manufacturers who want to ensure their Internet of Things devices can talk to others.
While it’s been confirmed that current devices such as the Huawei P30 Pro will be able to receive the next version of Google’s phone operating system, Android Q, it’s not clear yet what will happen to future devices.
So, developing a new operating system that doesn’t rely on American software could be a wise way for the company to be prepared while sanctions from the U.S. government are still in place.
Still, Huawei is very clear that it doesn’t want to abandon Android, saying it wanted to keep working with its American partners. Switching to Harmony would only happen if Huawei was forbidden to use Android. Richard Yu said that leaving Android behind was very much Plan B.