Huawei will ditch Android in 2021

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The Chinese tech company Huawei will switch to using a self-developed operating system in 2021 instead of depending on the open-source version of Android.

At the Huawei Developer Conference 2020 event on September 10, Huawei consumer electronics CEO Richard Yu announced that HarmonyOS operating system will be installed on all of its smartphones next year.

The world’s largest smartphone maker is taking steps to move from Android to Harmony, an important step to help the group stay firmly on the phone market in the face of being banned from the US from using Google services.

“The latest version of HarmonyOS has reached the hands of developers globally,” said Richard Yu. He added that Huawei is speeding up building an app ecosystem around the operating system. “Huawei’s mobile services system currently has 1.8 million developers, 490 million users, and 96,000 applications.”

HarmonyOS 2.0 Beta for smart TVs, watches, and terminals has been sent to developers, with SDKs (software development kit), documentation, tools, and emulators.

By December, Huawei will release HarmonyOS 2.0 beta for smartphones.

From May 2019, the US put Huawei on the embargo list. This forced Google to stop providing service to new Huawei phones using Android.

However, some analysts are skeptical of Harmony’s ability to replace Android, especially in markets outside of China, where many users take Google apps like YouTube and Gmail as obvious.

Besides, Huawei’s supply of phone components is shrinking as the US expands the ban, requiring foreign companies not to sell components made with their technology to Huawei.

Last month, Yu openly admitted the possibility of not being able to ship handsets with high-end Kirin chips next year due to US trade sanctions.

“We are in a difficult situation. Huawei smartphones do not have chip suppliers, ”Yu said at the China Info 100 conference. “This year could be the last launch of the high-end Kirin chip. This is a great loss for us “.

According to Korean media, from September 15, Samsung and SK Hynix will stop selling chips to Huawei. The Chinese tech firm’s screen supply is also at risk of a serious shortage as both LG and Samsung Display can stop the contract.

Earlier, Taiwan semiconductor chip maker TSMC also canceled its deal with Huawei after implementing restrictions.