Huawei announced on June 2 that its latest HarmonyOS operating system for smartphones would be released, marking the company’s most significant step yet in its efforts to recover from the damage caused by US sanctions on its mobile phone market.
It will no longer be based on Android thanks to the use of its own operating system. Google was barred from providing technical support for new Huawei phone models as well as access to Google Mobile Services, the collection of developer services on which most Android apps are built, due to US sanctions.
It was unclear if new smartphones would be released at the same time as existing phones, whether there will be updates for existing phones, or how quickly the rollout will take place.
The latest HarmonyOS would only go so far in mitigating the effects of the 2019 sanctions, which have prevented Huawei from accessing vital US-origin technology, limiting its ability to design its own chips and procure components from third parties.
Huawei, once the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, is now ranked sixth in the world, with a 4% market share in the first quarter.
The previous Trump administration said that Huawei posed a national security threat to the United States, which Huawei has refuted.
According to an internal memo seen by Reuters, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei this week urged employees to “dare to lead the world” in tech in order to step into business areas unaffected by US sanctions. As part of the pivot, the organization will need to take a more “open source” approach to growth and try to recruit more tech experts from abroad, according to the study.