HarmonyOS is a cross-device operating system designed for everything from TVs and smart speakers to IoT devices and wearables. Huawei previously confirmed that the platform will support smartphones too, but company founder Ren Zhengfei doesn’t think HarmonyOS is a rival for Android and iOS.
The Huawei founder told Dragon magazine (h/t: South China Morning Post) that Android and Apple-powered devices have enjoyed “massive” sales, with people accustomed to these platforms. He added that HarmonyOS was a solution to the US trade ban rather than a rival to the established platforms.
“Huawei is a latecomer, so it would be very difficult to surpass the operating systems of Android and Apple. It might take a long period of time, but no more than 300 years,” he joked in the interview.
Ren also noted that Huawei saw an uptick in parts acquired from the US in 2019, despite the US trade ban coming into effect in May last year.
“We procured $18.7 billion worth of parts from the US last year, a big increase from $11 billion in the past. We are not thinking of replacing US components,” he said, adding that the US would “always be our good friend.”
The news also comes as the US reportedly seeks to intensify the ban against Huawei. It’s believed that Washington could target Huawei’s chipmaker partners, forcing them to apply for a license if they use US technology in the chipmaking process.