Huawei’s HarmonyOS Android clone launches in June, but questions remain

Brittany A. Roston - May 25, 2021, 4:11pm CDT
Huawei’s HarmonyOS Android clone launches in June, but questions remain

Chinese company Huawei plans to launch its Harmony operating system early next month, kicking off its effort to move beyond the former Trump administration’s sanctions. Huawei revealed its plans in a newly published video, but the company doesn’t have much else to say at this point, leaving some questions about how HarmonyOS will roll out to the public.

In its short teaser video, Huawei revealed plans to showcase HarmonyOS during an event on June 2. The video focuses on the company’s operating system, which is largely just a clone of open-source Android with Huawei’s veneer on top, but the video also briefly mentions that new products will also be launched on this date.

The event will take place at 1400 CEST, which is 8 AM ET / 5 AM PT. It’s unclear whether we’ll see new smartphones running HarmonyOS arrive with this launch; likewise, we don’t yet know if the company plans to push out updates for its existing handsets and when such activities may take place.

We’ve known about HarmonyOS for a couple of years now, but it remains to be seen whether the Android clone — which will lack Google services — will have any substantial impact on Huawei’s efforts to deal with the 2019 sanctions in the US.

The sanctions followed years of increasing concerns about Huawei’s alleged national security threat and potential ties with the Chinese government — allegations it repeatedly denied. The upcoming June 2 event will finally give us a detailed look at HarmonyOS and how the company plans to proceed.


Must Read Bits & Bytes