Huawei, the embattled Chinese tech giant, will debut a new mobile operating system on Wednesday as it battles for survival in the smartphone market after being barred from using Android by the United States (US).
Huawei will introduce its first mobile devices using the new Harmony OS in an online event starting at 8 p.m. local time from its Shenzhen headquarters (1200 GMT).
Since Donald Trump’s White House launched an aggressive effort in 2018 to stifle Huawei’s worldwide aspirations, which Washington views as a possible Chinese espionage and cybersecurity threat, the development of Harmony OS has been intently followed by the IT world.
Apart from geopolitics, no firm has effectively challenged the mobile OS duopoly presently held by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS systems, a battleground filled with failures such as Blackberry, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, and Amazon’s Fire device.
Analysts believe Huawei will also encounter a difficult time carving out a significant portion of the OS market.
Huawei, the world’s leading producer of telecom base station equipment and other networking hardware, joined the phone industry in 2003 using Android as its operating system.
It joined Samsung and Apple as one of the top three mobile phone makers in the world, temporarily taking the top place last year, thanks to Chinese demand and sales in emerging areas.
However, the US sanctions, which include cutting the company apart from global component supply networks, have cast doubt on its mobile phone business.
According to analysts, Huawei’s greatest immediate problem is persuading enough developers to rewrite their apps and other content to run with Harmony OS so that users continue to buy Huawei phones.