Trump’s Huawei ban was perhaps the most significant single blow to the mobile ecosystem in recent years, undermining the company’s prospects in western markets where Android users need access to Google services. Huawei has been working on developing its own mobile OS since then, and we now know when it will be released: HarmonyOS, also known as Hongmeng in China, will be released on June 2nd, according to Huawei.
While the first version of HarmonyOS was primarily designed as an operating system for IoT devices, the second version was primarily designed as an Android replacement. HarmonyOS 2.0, targeted at smartphones and tablets, has been in development for a while and was rumored to be coming to Huawei’s older phones, including the P30 and P40. It’s worth noting that the Huawei P50 has yet to be released, which is unusually late in the year for a Huawei device. If, as rumored, the company releases the P50 alongside Harmony OS, it will go a long way toward legitimizing its latest platform.
Huawei was widening its global scope as one of the biggest telecommunications companies in tech before Trump’s ban, going toe-to-toe with Apple and Samsung in global sales — for a time, it was even the number one smartphone manufacturer. Huawei phones have gone from being some of the most hyped devices in any given year to something of an afterthought for Western markets since the company’s devices were practically barred from using a full-fledged version of Android.