GUANGZHOU, China — In mid-2019, Huawei launched its own operating system — HarmonyOS — in response to U.S. actions that minimize it off from Google software program.
It was the Chinese language know-how large’s most bold cellular 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 exterior of China would additionally have the ability to obtain it. The corporate’s new foldable Mate X2 machine, 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 referred to as the Entity Record which restricted American companies from exporting know-how to the Chinese language firm. Google cut ties with Huawei as a result. That meant Huawei couldn’t use licensed Google Android on its smartphones. That is not a giant deal in China the place Google apps reminiscent of Gmail are blocked. However in abroad markets, the place Android is the preferred working system, it was a giant 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. However HarmonyOS is the opposite “critically vital” half to make sure the survival of Huawei’s smartphone enterprise, in response to 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 referred to as the AppGallery and improved navigation features.
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 Photos
“Search built-in into the AppGallery will assist rather a lot by way of serving to folks uncover apps,” Peng mentioned.
Additionally, Huawei will probably be pushing the replace to current customers of its gadgets which ought to assist drive use of the working system abroad.
Presently, Huawei’s AppGallery has over 530 million month-to-month energetic customers.
Apps are crucial to cellular working techniques. Apple’s iOS and Google Android are the 2 most dominant working techniques as a result of they’ve thousands and thousands of builders making apps for his or her respective platforms.
Huawei has a set of apps reminiscent of mapping and a browser beneath a banner referred to as Huawei Cellular Providers (HMS). HMS is just like Google Cellular Providers and presents builders kits that can be utilized to combine issues like location providers into apps. HMS has 2.3 million registered builders globally.
And in China, it is ready to convey on board fashionable apps.
Nevertheless, in worldwide markets, Huawei may face some challenges. For instance, its app retailer is lacking main names such Google apps, that are vital to customers overseas. Fb in the meantime is offered however not for direct obtain from AppGallery. As an alternative, customers must observe a hyperlink to Fb’s website to obtain the app, not like different app shops from Apple and Google.
“If Huawei needs to achieve success at promoting telephones abroad, then it wants the fitting purposes, that are unlikely to reach on HarmonyOS. So gaining access to Google Cellular Providers once more is crucial if it needs to construct its worldwide cellphone enterprise,” Bryan Ma, vp of gadgets analysis at IDC, mentioned by way of electronic mail.
With Google Android and iOS dominating exterior China, Huawei will even have the steep job of convincing customers to change.
“When it comes to challenges, it is nonetheless in areas … (whether or not) the product will have the ability to be accepted by heavy customers utilizing, for instance, Google apps and Google providers,” Canalys’ Peng mentioned.
In the meantime, Huawei additionally doubtlessly lacks the important thing provides to make telephones sooner or later as a result of U.S. transferring 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 buyer 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 a giant problem Huawei faces.
“Huawei may proceed to drive the native China market with out such considerations (about HarmonyOS apps), however there’s a a lot greater situation in that it’s struggling to get elements within the first place,” Ma mentioned.
Clarification: This story has been up to date to replicate the provision of Fb on Huawei’s AppGallery.