|Source model||Open source|
|Initial release||August 9, 2019|
|Marketing target||Internet of Things |
Harmony OS (Chinese: 鸿蒙; pinyin: Hóngméng), styled as HarmonyOS, is an upcoming open source, microkernel-based distributed operating system being developed by Huawei. Unveiled on 9 August 2019, the platform is designed primarily for internet of things (IoT) devices.
Prior to its unveiling, it was originally speculated to be a mobile operating system that could replace Android on future Huawei devices (in response to financial sanctions imposed on Huawei by the United States government in May 2019), but by July 2019, some Huawei executives were describing Harmony as being an "industrial" embedded operating system designed for IoT hardware, discarding the previous statements for it to be a mobile operating system. These details were confirmed upon the official unveiling of the platform, with Huawei listing use cases such as smart TVs, in-car entertainment, and wearable devices.
Reports surrounding an in-house operating system being developed by Huawei date back as far as 2012. They intensified in May 2019 after Huawei was subjected to export restrictions by the United States government for violations of United States sanctions against Iran. Huawei executive Richard Yu described an in-house platform as a "plan B" in case it is prevented from using Android on future smartphone products.
Some media outlets reported that this OS, referred to as "Hongmeng OS", could be released in China in either August or September 2019, with a worldwide release in the second quarter of 2020. On 24 May 2019, Huawei registered "Hongmeng OS" as a trademark in China. The same day, Huawei registered trademarks surrounding "Ark OS" and variants with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. In July 2019, it was reported that Huawei had also registered trademarks surrounding the word "Harmony" for desktop and mobile operating system software, indicating either a different name or a component of the OS.
The name "Hongmeng" came from Chinese mythology that symbolizes primordial chaos or the world before creation.
In July 2019, Huawei chairman Liang Hua stated that the OS was intended for "industrial" use and that Huawei "[had not] decided yet if the Hongmeng OS can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future" (preferring the continued use of Android for these devices). Building upon the statement, Huawei's senior vice president Catherine Chen stated that it was an embedded operating system designed for Internet of things (IoT) hardware.
On 9 August 2019, Huawei officially unveiled Harmony OS at its inaugural developers' conference in Dongguan. Huawei described Harmony as an open source, microkernel-based distributed operating system for various types of hardware, with faster inter-process communication than QNX or Google's "Fuchsia" microkernel, and real-time resource allocation. The ARK compiler can be used to port Android APK packages to the OS. Huawei stated that developers would be able to "flexibly" deploy Harmony OS software across various device categories; the company focused primarily on IoT devices, including "smart displays", wearable devices, and in-car entertainment systems, and did not explicitly position Harmony OS as a mobile OS.
Huawei stated that Harmony OS would initially be used on devices targeting the Chinese market. The company's subsidiary brand Honor unveiled the Honor Vision line of smart TVs as the first consumer electronics devices to run Harmony OS.
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Ren Zhengfei said his firm's Harmony OS would be up to 60 per cent faster than Android and would connect across multiple smart devices – ranging from cars to phones.
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