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Huawei launches new operating system HarmonyOS

Telecom equipment provider Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., released its long-expected in-house operating system, HarmonyOS 1.0, at its Aug. 9 Huawei Developer Conference in China's Dongguan.

HarmonyOS, also known as Hongmeng, is microkernel-based, which enables data processing to be five times more efficient than existing systems such as Apple Inc.'s iOS and Google LLC's Android, according to Huawei's statement. The system can be used for multiple devices such as handsets, cars and computers.

SNL Image

Huawei Developer Conference 2019.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

At the conference, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, said Huawei smartphones will stay on the Android system for customer convenience but if the company cannot use Android in the future, he said Huawei can "immediately" switch to HarmonyOS.

Google had briefly suspended Huawei's access to certain Android updates and features, except those available through open source listing, earlier in May amid the U.S.-China tensions.

The new system will also allow developers to deploy their apps without having to deal with the underlying technology for distributed apps, Yu said. He gave the example of how a music app, developed for a handset using HarmonyOS, could directly be used by car systems without any additional coding or formatting.

"It will cost [the developers] very little to transfer from Android system to HarmonyOS due to the embracing feature of our system," Yu said.

While he did not specify the exact date of the system's availability, in the statement, Huawei said HarmonyOS will first be used on "smart screen products," such as smartwatches and in-vehicle devices, later this year.

The consumer business group CEO added the system will constantly receive updates with HarmonyOS 2.0 scheduled to be rolled out in 2020, and HarmonyOS 3.0 in 2021.

During the conference, Huawei also introduced a series of products including an updated open source development tool and its own map app.