Huawei has released a range of new devices powered by the company’s HarmonyOS, as it tries to move beyond Google and US sanctions.
Huawei was one of the top smartphone makers in the world before being crippled by sanctions. The company has been accused of being a conduit for Beijing to spy on other countries and organizations, leading the US and its allies to ban the company from their networks. The US even took measures to cut the company off from its partner companies, such as TSMC, crippling its ability to procure semiconductors. As part of the sanctions, Huawei lost access to Google’s Android updates and additional software.
The company had been working on its HarmonyOS, a fork of an older version of Android, even before the sanctions. With the sanctions in full effect, however, HarmonyOS is now a life-and-death bet for the company.
Huawei had previously teased June 2 as its release date, and now the company has delivered, releasing smartphones, watches and tablets powered by the new OS. The new devices include the Huawei Mate 40 Series, Huawei Mate X2, Huawei Watch 3 Series and the Huawei MatePad Pro.
Not surprisingly, Huawei is emphasizing a commitment to privacy and security, no doubt in an effort to head off the very criticism that led to it being sanctioned. The company says it has worked with a third-party certification organization, with nearly all of the certificates granted to its devices being the highest level available.
The company is also touting HarmonyOS’ ability to run on a range of devices, including those with as little as 128 KB of memory, providing a unified experience regardless of the hardware. The company is also emphasizing the OpenHarmony roots of HarmonyOS, giving partners the ability to customize it for their needs.
“We are surrounded by more and more smart devices these days, and are now in a world where all things are connected,” said Richard Yu, Executive Director and CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group. “Every single one of us is a part of this fully connected world, as is every device. We look forward to working with more partners and developers to build a thriving HarmonyOS ecosystem and provide even better experiences, products, and services to our customers the world over.”