Huawei has had a pretty hectic year, especially now that presidential sanctions declare that all its upcoming phones can’t be officially connected to Google Play Services. In other words, despite running Android, they won’t have access to the Google Play Store and all the apps it holds. But it seems Huawei is sticking with Android, and won’t be making the switch to its homegrown HarmonyOS.
Ever since it became apparent that Huawei would be locked out of Google Play, speculation has been rampant about what Huawei planned to do about the problem – because it is a problem. But, according to Joy Tan, Huawei’s President of Global Media and Communications, HarmonyOS isn’t currently a viable alternative.
Speaking to Chinese news site My Drivers, Tan admitted that “a viable alternative to Android’s operating system will take years to complete.” She also said that because Android has so many users, there are concerns that very few of them would be willing to make the jump to a new operating system.
Given the number of people who stubbornly avoid Android because they’re too invested in iOS, she makes a very good point. As is the issue with developing said OS in the first place. You can’t just throw out a new OS in a few months.
But then again it’s going to be difficult to create a viable alternative app store to Google Play. Even Amazon, which has had its own Android-based app store for years, can’t really compete. Sure people can side-load all the apps they need, but it’s not as secure or simple as a bonafide app store with the right level of app availability.
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.