December 9, 2019 / 6:20 AM / 3 months ago

Huawei to roll out Harmony OS to more products next year, but not phones and tablets

FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany, September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

SHANGHAI/SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) - Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] plans to equip more of its products with its Harmony operating system (OS) next year, and will promote them at home and abroad, a Huawei spokesman said on Monday.

But there are no plans currently to roll out the OS to its phones, tablets and computers, among Huawei’s most popular products, the spokesman added.

The plans were first reported in the government-backed Shenzhen Special Zone Daily newspaper which cited comments made by Wang Chenglu, president of the Huawei consumer business group’s software division, at a store event held in the city of Shenzhen, where the firm has its headquarters.

Huawei unveiled its proprietary OS in August as a possible alternative to Google’s Android, as it copes with trade restrictions by the United States that threatens to cut its access to technology made by U.S. firms.

A “smart screen”, or connected television product was its first product to use Harmony, called Hongmeng in Chinese, but it said at the time that it would stick to Android for smartphones and gradually roll out Harmony to other devices such as smartwatches, speakers and virtual reality gadgets.

Wang reiterated that stance at the store event and noted the company would still prefer to use Android on its phones, according to the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily newspaper.

Reporting by Brenda Goh and David Kirton; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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