Huawei on Wednesday launched a new range of smartphones, including its flagship Huawei Mate 40 series, which are all powered by the new HarmonyOS 2 operating system (OS). This is a significant change from Huawei's previous phones, which were all powered by an open-source version of Android. The geopolitics surrounding the launch of the Harmony OS 2 operating system are worth looking into. What set in motion the development of this new OS? The development of HarmonyOS began as far back as 2016, but it gained momentum and importance after the US government imposed sanctions on Huawei in 2019. In May 2019, the US Department of Commerce added the Chinese smartphone maker and 70 affiliates to its “Entity List”, effectively prohibiting the company from importing, exporting or using American technology. In August 2020, another 38 other Huawei-affiliate companies were added to this “Entity List”. After Huawei made it to the US government’s blacklist, Google cut ties with the company and cancelled its Android licence. This meant that Huawei was only allowed to use the public version of Android, known as the Android Open Source Project and not Google’s proprietary apps and services such as the Play Store, Gmail and YouTube, which are not covered by the open-source license and require a commercial agreement with Google. In September 2020, Huawei revealed that it is preparing to switch from Android to HarmonyOS for its smartphones. Previously, HarmonyOS was only used for other smart devices like TVs and smartwatches. Is HarmonyOS a true alternative to Android…
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India's smartphone operating system BharOS has received much buzz in the media lately, but does it really merit this attention?
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