Huawei will launch the first smartphone running its own HarmonyOS in 2021, according to Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu.
He also said that a smartphone running the operating system will likely be commercially available in 2021.
The reports come amid rumours that Huawei will be unveiling the second version of the operating system at this year’s Huawei Developers Conference (HDC) on 10 September 2020.
The original HarmonyOS operating system was first announced back at last year’s event and launched on the company’s Honor Vision and Honor Vision Pro Smart TVs.
HarmonyOS 2.0 is expected to first be available on a range of devices, including smartwatches, smart speakers, smart screens, and PCs.
HarmonyOS is the first-ever operating system which employs a distributed architecture.
According to Huawei, this means it is faster than Android, as the Google operating system has a lot of unnecessary code and various other legacy issues.
In addition, it features a microkernel design which offers improved security and lower latency, since only the most basic services are performed within the microkernel.
Huawei has also said the OS will work on devices with small amounts of RAM, as well as those with hundreds of gigabytes of memory.
Last Kirin chips
The US recently issued a new export rule that prohibits foundries, including those based abroad, from exporting hardware which was made using US technology.
This means Huawei is being cut off from TSMC, the company which manufactures its high-end Kirin chips.
As previously revealed by Yu, Huawei’s upcoming Mate 40 smartphone is set to feature the Kirin 9000 chip. With the new rule, this could be the last high-end Kirin chip Huawei uses.
“Unfortunately, under the sanctions of the United States, TSMC only accepted orders before September 15th,” Yu said.
“By September 15th, it will not be able to produce chips for Huawei. So Kirin 9000 may be our last generation of Huawei Kirin high-end chips.”
The ban has contributed to a surge in exports from Taiwan, as the manufacturer rushes to ship chips before the new rule comes into effect.
It remains to be seen who Huawei will turn to as an alternative chip supplier, as China’s largest chipmaker SMIC is several process nodes behind TSMC.
While MediaTek has been vying for permission to develop Huawei’s high-end processors, the company itself relies on TSMC to produce its chips.