Huawei unveils new HarmonyOS operating system, will it replace Google’s Android?
For starters, open source software will ignore smartphones and instead end up in everything from cars and watches to personal computers by 2020, said Richard Yu, general manager of the consumer business, at a launch event. Headphones and virtual reality glasses will follow. Huawei plans to run the operating system on its next flagship, the Mate 30, he told reporters.
âBecause we support Google’s Android ecosystem, we will prioritize Android for smartphones. If we can’t use Android, we can install HarmonyOS quickly, âYu said at Huawei’s developer conference in Dongguan.
HarmonyOS, previously named “Hongmeng” or “Ark,” is an important part of Huawei’s efforts to develop alternatives in response to sanctions on US technology it needs to manufacture its equipment. Highlighting the unpredictability of the offer, Bloomberg News reported that the White House is delaying the decision on licenses to allow U.S. companies to resume sales to Huawei.
China’s largest tech company has found itself at the center of sensitive trade talks between Beijing and Washington, the latter accusing its geopolitical rival of stealing the technology and posing a risk to US national security. Regardless of how the talks unfolded, Trump’s administrative restrictions have all but stifled Huawei’s goal of overtaking Samsung Electronics Co. to become the world’s largest smartphone maker.
While Huawei’s operating system may serve it well in its home market, any plans to dethrone Android from Google on a global scale will be out of place, according to Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research.
âHuawei with deep pockets and scale in China may be successful in the domestic market, but achieving the level of integration of Google Android services and the quality of applications outside of China will be less trivial and a gigantic task,â a- he declared.
Huawei seems confident it can do it. âOur HarmonyOS is more powerful and secure than Android, and it has greater distributed capacity and is forward looking,â said Yu. âCan HarmonyOS be installed on smartphones?
For HarmonyOS to work, Huawei will need developers to build apps for its ecosystem – a major question mark around its nascent software. “It took a decade for Android to get here with deep integration of Google’s mobile services, and it now has a well-organized and relatively secure App Store with millions of apps, advanced AI capabilities,” Shah added.
Last year, Huawei spent at least 500 million yuan ($ 70 million) to get developers to work on its local operating system, and the company could invest more this year, Yu said. big attraction is our profit sharing system. We can only keep 10% of the profits from the app and leave the rest to the developers, âhe said.
The effectiveness of HarmonyOS is something Huawei has yet to prove. Yu went into technical details of the back-end, but refrained from describing consumer-oriented features, suggesting that he may not yet be ready for prime time.
To facilitate application migration, HarmonyOS will for now be built on Huawei’s Linux and LiteOS kernels, Yu said, which will change in future generations of the operating system.
Two months after a Trump administration ban that cut Huawei off from US suppliers, Huawei is starting to feel the effects. He warned of a more difficult performance in the second half of 2019 and prepared internally for a drop in overseas smartphone shipments of 60 million units. Yu said on Friday that sanctions imposed in May had already reduced smartphone shipments by more than 10 million units in the second quarter.
Huawei is delaying the release of its first Mate X foldable smartphone due to “production volume issues”. Yu warned that buyers may have to wait until November for the long-awaited product. The postponement is a blow to the Chinese company, which is battling Samsung and Apple in the global smartphone market.
Huawei has turned to its territory to compensate for international headwinds. The company has assigned up to 10,000 engineers, working three shifts a day, to develop alternatives to American software and components. Huawei already designs its own HiSilicon Kirin processors, although it continues to rely on US companies such as Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcom Inc. for additional wireless chips.
And it focuses on domestic sales: The company ordered 37% of the Chinese smartphone market in the second quarter, according to IDC, giving it roughly the same share as the second and third largest vendors combined. Strong sales in the domestic market increased Huawei’s shipments by 24% to 118 million units in the first half of the year, the company said earlier.
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