Huawei has Harmony OS as its new OS, but the company isn't over Android. Huawei has just announced that over 50 million people currently use EMUI 10, the latest version of this Android-based skin.
"Pre-holiday news, #EMUI10 has over 50 million upgraded users, thank you for your support, Little E will continue to cheer!," the company wrote on its Weibo account (rough English translation).
EMUI 10 is based on Android 10, the latest version of Android
Huawei's EMUI 10 is Huawei's "skin" that lays atop of Google's Android. Users can expect to see some of Huawei's own additions, tweaks, and software upgrades. There is also Google's Android 10 update that sits beneath EMUI 10.
Huawei's Android 10 update is rolling out to the Huawei P30, P30 Pro, Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X (4G), and Nova 5T immediately. Veteran devices such as the Mate 20 X (5G), P20/P20 Pro, Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, and Nova 4 and Nova 3 in the coming months.
To view the entire list of EMUI 10-eligible devices, you can check out Huawei's global release announcement.
This is a huge milestone for Huawei. The company continues to upgrade old smartphones running Android but cannot bring Android 10 to new ones. The company has been banned in the US since mid-May 2019. At that time, US President Donald J. Trump forbade American companies from selling goods and services to Huawei. Google, an American entity, removed Huawei from Android. Huawei had been an Android OEM since 2009.
Since then, China and the US have been working toward a compromise. However, the President's position on Huawei as a "threat to national security" remains strong. The US is encouraging its allies to keep Huawei out of international 5G network rollouts.
What this milestone means for Harmony OS
Huawei says that Harmony OS is for the Internet-of-Things (IoT) agenda. Chinese vendors Oppo and Vivo find the new OS to be "60% faster than Android." The former Android OEM said at first that Harmony OS was for IoT.
At that time, Huawei wanted to reconcile with Google and return to Android. As a last resort, the Chinese OEM threatened Google, saying that, if it left Android, it would take 800 million users with it.
Now that Huawei has a fledgling OS, it would be easy to assume that the company is ready to assert its own mobile independence and move forward, but that isn't the case. Though Harmony OS has gone public, the Chinese OEM is still marketing Android 10 for everything it can reap from it.
A good example of this is the Huawei P30 Lite New Edition. The phone brings nothing more than 2GB of additional RAM and double the storage of the 2019 version. Additional RAM and storage aren't enough to warrant a new phone release. Huawei's decision to re-release an old phone has everything to do with marketing its only recent Android 10 device.
And the company's celebration of its Android 10 update is another sign that Huawei isn't over Android just yet.