GUANGZHOU, China — In mid-2019, Huawei launched its own operating system — HarmonyOS — in response to U.S. actions that reduce it off from Google software program.
It was the Chinese know-how big’s most formidable cell software program push, one it hoped would assist its handset enterprise to outlive.
On Monday, Huawei announced that HarmonyOS would begin rolling out on its smartphones from April. Huawei cellphone customers would have the ability to obtain it as an replace.
A spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that customers outdoors of China would additionally have the ability to obtain it. The firm’s new foldable Mate X2 gadget, launched on Monday, could be one of many first to get HarmonyOS with different handsets to observe.
In 2019, Huawei was placed on a U.S. blacklist generally known as the Entity List which restricted American corporations from exporting know-how to the Chinese firm. Google cut ties with Huawei as a result. That meant Huawei couldn’t use licensed Google Android on its smartphones. That’s not an enormous deal in China the place Google apps resembling Gmail are blocked. But in abroad markets, the place Android is the preferred working system, it was an enormous blow.
That transfer by the Trump administration mixed with sanctions designed to cut Huawei off from critical chip supplies, has hurt the Chinese telecommunication firm’s smartphone sales.
Huawei might want to discover a supply of chip provides for its smartphones. But HarmonyOS is the opposite “critically important” half to make sure the survival of Huawei’s smartphone enterprise, in accordance with Nicole Peng, analyst at Canalys.
Huawei touts HarmonyOS as an working system that may work throughout gadgets from smartphones to TVs. In September, it launched the second version of HarmonyOS and has been courting builders to make apps for the platform.
And with a view to worldwide customers, Huawei redesigned the interface for its app retailer generally known as the AppGallery and improved navigation capabilities.
A visitor holds her cellphone exhibiting an image taken throughout Huawei’s press convention unveiling its new HarmonyOS working system in Dongguan, Guangdong province on August 9, 2019.
Fred Dufour | AFP| Getty Images
“Search integrated into the AppGallery will help a lot in terms of helping people discover apps,” Peng mentioned.
Also, Huawei will likely be pushing the replace to present customers of its gadgets which ought to assist drive use of the working system abroad.
Currently, Huawei’s AppGallery has over 530 million month-to-month energetic customers.
Apps are vital to cell working methods. Apple’s iOS and Google Android are the 2 most dominant working methods as a result of they’ve hundreds of thousands of builders making apps for his or her respective platforms.
Huawei has a set of apps resembling mapping and a browser beneath a banner referred to as Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). HMS is much like Google Mobile Services and provides builders kits that can be utilized to combine issues like location companies into apps. HMS has 2.3 million registered builders globally.
And in China, it is ready to carry on board fashionable apps.
However, in worldwide markets, Huawei may face some challenges. For instance, its app retailer is lacking main names resembling Facebook or Google apps, that are necessary to customers overseas.
“If Huawei wants to be successful at selling phones overseas, then it needs the right applications, which are unlikely to arrive on HarmonyOS. So getting access to Google Mobile Services again is critical if it wants to build its international phone business,” Bryan Ma, vp of gadgets analysis at IDC, mentioned through e mail.
With Google Android and iOS dominating outdoors China, Huawei will even have the steep process of convincing customers to modify.
“In terms of challenges, it’s still in areas … (whether) the product will be able to be be accepted by heavy users using, for example, Google apps and Google services,” Canalys’ Peng mentioned.
Meanwhile, Huawei additionally doubtlessly lacks the important thing provides to make telephones sooner or later because of the U.S. shifting to chop it off from chips. Huawei’s Mate X2 makes use of Huawei’s proprietary Kirin 9000 processor. Richard Yu, the CEO of the patron enterprise, mentioned the corporate has sufficient manufacturing capability for the foldable cellphone even after warning final yr provides may run out.
That, together with the uncertainty of success with the working system, is an enormous problem Huawei faces.
“Huawei could continue to drive the local China market without such concerns (about HarmonyOS apps), but there is a much bigger issue in that it is struggling to get components in the first place,” Ma mentioned.