Huawei concedes that Harmony OS, its Android replacement, is still years away

Huawei has been banned from using Google Services since May 2019 on all new phones (phones prior to this are not included). This is the result of accusations from the US that Huawei’s telecom equipment could be used for spying, creating a national security risk. The new Mate 30 devices launched in September with Android, but not Google Services (Play Store, Gmail, Assistant, etc.). This obviously cripples the phones for most consumers and Huawei’s plan B is a new, in-house OS to replace Android altogether – HarmonyOS (introduced on August 9th). Initial plans were to launch the Huawei P40 with it early next year, assuming the ban remains in place. A senior company executive, however, now concedes that HarmonyOS could be years away from final development.

Joy Tan, Vice President of Public Affairs at Huawei US, said that things were currently “challenging” and it could take years to finish an alternative to Google Services. Speaking to the Financial Times, Tan said, “We have to find alternative solutions for that ecosystem, but it’s going to take some time to build. There are so many Android users in Europe and south-east Asia, and they’re so used to these Google applications on top of Android phones.

This is in direct contrast to a statement made by Huawei CEO Richard Yu, who recently claimed that HarmonyOS would be ready for the P40 in early 2020 (just a few months from now). There is even talk about loading existing phones with HarmonyOS sporting dual-boot support to run Android as well.

The ban on Google Services is a huge blow to Huawei who is currently the second largest Android OEM with roughly 17% of the global market. Only Samsung has a higher market share. Without access to Google Services in the near future, things could get catastrophic for Huawei’s smartphone division.

source: Business Insider

He was born and raised in Virginia, but escaped to Southern CA. Started out as a BlackBerry addict until he bought HTC’s Droid Eris and never looked back. He’s owned dozens of Android devices and can rarely settle on a daily driver for more than a few months. He’s currently using a Galaxy S8 and BlackBerry KEYone. He rides motorcycles for fun and would live on the beach if it was legal. Marketing and freelance pr help keep the lights on.

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