What you need to know
- Huawei will be launching HarmonyOS on June 2nd.
- The company did not say if it would be launching a HarmonyOS smartphone at that time, though reports indicate that there would be a Huawei P50 launch at the same time.
- Huawei has been moving away from Android as its primary operating system since the U.S. restricted it from working with U.S. tech companies.
Huawei is finally launching HarmonyOS on June 2nd, as per a video shared on its Weibo account and reported by the South China Morning Post. This is the latest move that Huawei would be making in response to the trade sanctions that severed its smartphone business from both Google and Qualcomm, effectively neutering it.
While the first version of HarmonyOS was more or less conceptualized as an operating system for IoT devices, its sequel was very much an Android replacement. HarmonyOS 2.0 has been in testing for a while now, aimed at smartphones and tablets, and was said to be coming to Huawei's older phones including the P30 and P40. It's worth noting that the P50 has yet to launch, which is surprisingly late in the year for a Huawei smartphone. If the company were to pair the release of the P50 with Harmony OS as rumors indicate, then it would go a long way in legitimizing its new platform.
Huawei's HarmonyOS has been criticized for being built off of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This makes it closer to Fire OS that powers the best Kindle Fire tablets than it is to Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10 as far as its distance from Android is concerned — at least going off of early betas. Either way, Huawei hopes to make porting apps to its newfound operating system as painless as possible for consumers, and it's hard to think of any reason for consumers to care as long as it works.
We'll learn more about HarmonyOS on June 2nd, when it finally launches. With Huawei's AppGallery platform growing as well, it's also guaranteed to tie in with Harmony OS, one way or another.