Head of Huawei Consumer BG Yu Chengdong has revealed that the beta version of the company's own operating system, Hongmeng OS 2.0, also known as HarmonyOS, will be released as early as December 2020, with the full version arriving for Huawei smartphones in 2021.
The roll-out, however, will take place in five stages, according to an anonymous source cited by the RPRNA online media outlet. The source claims that the first stage will see the OS deployed on the Chinese tech giant's products using Kirin 9000 system on a chip (SoC) processors, which are expected to be used in the upcoming Mate 40 phone. The second stage will reportedly see devices outfitted with the latest Kirin 990 5G SoC, such as the Mate 30 and P40 series, upgraded with HarmonyOS.
The remaining stages will also reportedly see older Huawei phone models upgraded to the internally-developed OS, operating on the Kirin processors, which have been in development since 2018. The source added that not all of the devices using these SoCs will receive the new operating system, as some of the chipsets will be affected only "partially".
These Kirin SoCs are also installed in the phones of a Huawei subsidiary, which releases smartphones under the brand Honor, although it's unclear from the report whether they will receive HarmonyOS upgrades too.
Huawei announced the transition to its microkernel-based HarmonyOS in 2019 after the company was cut off from Google's products, including the Android OS, due to a White House order targeting specifically the Chinese tech giant. Washington's decision came as a part of a larger crackdown campaign against Huawei, under which the US also pressured other countries to stop using the company's telecommunication equipment. The White House claims that Huawei presents a national security threat, while the company denies the allegations and accuses the Trump administration of using its power to eliminate competitors of American companies.