Huawei is hosting its annual developer’s conference, HDC 2019, in China from August 9th – August 11 2019. The company has finally unveiled its own operating system called Harmony OS (which was referred as Hongmeng OS) at HDC. Harmony OS is Huawei’s self-developed operating system. This OS is ready for Huawei’s smartphones but won’t replace Android at the moment.
At Huawei Developer Conference, Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group said Harmony OS is ready to be “deployed on the company’s smartphones any time but Huawei want to use Google’s Android OS due to its partnership and its vast ecosystem.” He also added that Harmony OS is faster than Android but the company still wants to use Android’s ecosystem at the moment.
Harmony OS/Hongmeng OS will be Open Source:
Huawei has officially announced its new self developed operating system Harmony/Hongmeng OS, and the company has announced that this new OS will be ‘open source’ for the developer. The power of open source will help to build its ecosystem much faster and more and more people can contribute to its development. The Harmony OS is built to work across different devices seamlessly in the theory of smart connectivity and support Tablets, Smartphones, PC, TVs, Wearables and more.
Is HarmonyOS Huawei’s Answer to Google’s Android operating System?
Just few days back rumor mill was abuzz with the news that HongMeng OS is Huawei’s answer to Google’s Android operating system. This news gained prominence after Huawei was banned from buying American-made technology. However, company leaders publicly downplayed the prospect that the software could power a smartphone.
The unveiling of Huawei’s OS should be a point of concern for Google. Huawei is the second-largest smartphone vendor, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple. Likewise, Huawei’s device sales have helped affirm Google’s Android gain dominance at the global level. Android’s market share in mobile devices currently stands at more than 70%, according to data by StatCounter.
However, Harmony OS/Hongmeng OS will face a daunting challenge to compete against Google Android. Huawei’s rise to the second-largest smartphone vendor has a lot to do with Google Android. The fact that the company’s main market for smartphones is outside China effectively means it will find it difficult to sell products that don’t support Google apps.
US-China Trade War Ramifications
The standoff between the US and China could also take a toll on Google Android. As the world's largest market for mobile devices, Chinese companies have helped affirm Android’s dominance being forced to use other operating systems could lead to a significant loss for its business.
After the US trade ban in May, reports emerged that Huawei had been working on its own OS – dubbed Hongmeng – for years. The company has been very discreet about the new OS, it acknowledged that development of backup ystem was underway. However, it would use it under “extenuating circumstances.”
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei clarified in July that the OS was not designed for smartphones and Huawei would need to start building an ecosystem if it loses access to Android.
Will the launch of HarmonyOs transform mobile app development? Well, only time will tell. Stay tuned to this blog for more updates on HarmonyOS.