Huawei – which is contending with a Trump administration ban preventing U.S. companies, including Google, from supplying it with technology unless the companies obtain special licenses – is developing a smartphone that won't use Google's Android operating systems, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday (Sept. 10).
Huawei already makes devices that run its in-house-built "Harmony" operating system as part of the Internet of Things, an area the company has made a priority. A top executive told PYMNTS earlier this year that the expansion of 5G technology only promises more opportunities for networked devices.
The Journal on Thursday quoted the head of the company's consumer electronics operation, Richard Yu, as saying that a smartphone version will be shared with Chinese app developers this year, and may also be licensed to other smartphone producers.
Huawei already has become the world's top smartphone maker by volume due to strong demand in China for phones that operate without Android, the Journal reports, but overseas sales of its handsets have been crushed by the ban.
The global market, however, has been substantially disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Journal quoted Analyst Mo Jia of Canalys as saying that the impact of the Harmony operating system on the overall smartphone market will depend in large part on whether Huawei is able to obtain the components necessary to produce a significant number of smartphones for use outside of China.