Rising from the trade war, Huawei’s HarmonyOS may become fifth-largest mobile OS by 2020

Google services may come back to Huawei smartphones, after all.

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Huawei’s in-house operating system (OS), HarmonyOS, is set to surpass Linux to be the world’s fifth most popular OS for smart digital devices by the end of 2020, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest report.

The Chinese developed OS is predicted to own 2% of market share globally and 5% domestically by December next year, the report said.

Officially launched by tech giant Huawei in August, the open-source software is designed to integrate with almost every kind of smart devices, from smartphones, wearables to cars. Two of Huawei’s new TVs have installed HarmonyOS.

The development of a homegrown OS is part of Huawei’s effort to enrich its ecosystem and reduce reliance on foreign technology, like Android from its long-time partner Google.

Currently, Android is the world’s No. 1 OS, which claims over 40% of the market share, followed by Microsoft’s Windows with 35%, Apple’s iOS with 14% and macOS with 6%. Linux ranks the fifth with a 0.8% share, StatCounter data reveals.

In the Western market, Huawei is still reeling from the unsettling China-US trade talks.

Its newly-released flagship smartphone, the Mate 30, comes without Google apps including Google Play Store, Chrome and Gmail, since the Trump administration placed Huawei and dozens of its affiliates on an entity list in May. That list prevents the US companies from selling technologies to the Chinese company.

Although Huawei’s smartphone global shipments grew 4.6% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, the sanction will lead to a steep decline in its shipments in the third quarter as overseas buyers might shun from buying its handsets, industry watchers say.

However, there are speculations that Google services might soon be restored to Huawei devices, as the US announced a temporary truce Friday after Washington and Beijing wrapped up their latest round of trade talks.

President Trump gave the green light to begin to issue licenses allowing some American companies to supply non-sensitive goods to Huawei, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the situation.