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Huawei eyes 2021 release of HarmonyOS-powered smartphones

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Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu.
Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu.

Huawei CEO for its consumer business Richard Yu has shed some light on when the world is likely to see smartphones powered by its operating system (OS), HarmonyOS.

During a virtual broadcast of the Huawei Developer Conference, Yu said: “Maybe starting from next year we’ll see smartphones with HarmonyOS.

“HarmonyOS, we believe, will boost the experience of our users.”

The CEO also revealed that as of today, a beta version of the system for smart TVs, watches and head units would be open to developers, while the beta version for smartphones opens in December.

Huawei first mentioned plans to bring its own OS to market last August, following the blacklisting of the company by the US government, which resulted in companies, including Alphabet’s Google and British chip designer ARM, limiting or ceasing their relationships with it.

Google is still banned from doing business with Huawei, which has meant no Google Mobile Services (GMS) for the Chinese technology giant’s latest devices. GMS are the apps by Google that often come pre-installed on Android devices.

Huawei devices such as the P40 flagship series have launched without popular services like Google Maps, Music, YouTube and Assistant.

The company has instead introduced its native ecosystem, Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), on its latest devices. HMS is the company’s effort to create an ecosystem of applications, application programming interfaces and cloud services, with the Android-based EMUI used as the device interface.

The alternative ecosystem is also described as an enabling platform for third-party developers with tools and services to create their own apps.

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