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Huawei HarmonyOS Google Android rivals roll out to mobile phones in April

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Guangzhou, China In mid-2019, Huawei launched its own operating system, HarmonyOS, in response to US actions separated from Google software.

This was the promotion of the most ambitious mobile software of China’s tech giant and hoped to help the mobile phone business survive.

On Monday, Huawei announced that HarmonyOS will be available on smartphones in April. Huawei phone users can download it as an update.

A spokeswoman told CNBC that users outside of China could also download it. Launched on Monday, the company’s new foldable Mate X2 device was one of the first other mobile phones to adopt the Harmony OS.

In 2019, Huawei was blacklisted in the United States, known as the entity list, restricting US companies from exporting technology to Chinese companies. As a result, Google cut off its relationship with Huawei. In other words, Huawei couldn’t use the licensed Google Android on their smartphones. In China, where Google apps like Gmail are blocked, this isn’t a big deal. But in the international market, where Android is the most popular operating system, it was a big blow.

The move by the Trump administration, coupled with sanctions designed to separate Huawei from critical chip supplies, has hit Chinese carriers’ smartphone sales.

Huawei needs to find a chip source for smartphones. But according to Canalys analyst Nicole Peng, HarmonyOS is another “very important” part of ensuring the survival of Huawei’s smartphone business.

HarmonyOS development

Huawei advertises HarmonyOS as an operating system that can run on a variety of devices, from smartphones to TVs. In September, we released a second version of HarmonyOS, urging developers to create apps for the platform.

For overseas users, Huawei has also redesigned the interface of the app store called AppGallery to improve the navigation function.

The guest has a mobile phone showing photos taken during a Huawei press conference announcing the new HarmonyOS operating system in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, August 9, 2019.

Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images

“Search integrated into the App Gallery will be of great help in helping people find apps,” Penn said.

Huawei should also help push updates to existing users of the device and promote the use of operating systems abroad.

Currently, Huawei’s AppGallery has more than 530 million monthly active users.

Future smartphone issues

Apps are important for mobile operating systems. Apple’s iOS and Google Android are the two most dominant operating systems, as there are millions of developers creating apps for their respective platforms.

Huawei has a set of apps such as mappings and browsers under a banner called Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). HMS is similar to Google mobile services and offers developer kits that you can use to integrate location services and more into your app. HMS has 2.3 million registered developers worldwide.

And in China, it can be equipped with popular apps.

However, in the international market, Huawei may face some challenges. For example, the app store does not have key names such as Facebook and Google apps that are important to international users.

“If Huawei wants to succeed in telemarketing abroad, it needs a suitable application that is unlikely to reach HarmonyOS. Therefore, if you want to build an international telemarketing business, you can revisit Google Mobile Services. It’s important, “Bryan Ma, vice president of device research at IDC, said in an email.

As Google Android and iOS dominate outside of China, Huawei also has the urgent task of persuading users to switch.

“When it comes to challenges, it’s still in the realm … (whether or not) the product will be accepted by heavy users who use Google apps and services, for example,” said Canalys’ Peng.

Huawei, on the other hand, could run out of major supplies to make mobile phones in the future as the United States tries to disconnect mobile phones from chips. Huawei’s Mate X2 uses Huawei’s proprietary Kirin 9000 processor. Consumer business CEO Richard Yu said the company still has enough capacity for foldable phones, even after warning that supply could run out last year.

It is a major challenge facing Huawei, along with the uncertainty of success in the operating system.

“Huawei was able to continue to drive the local Chinese market without such concerns (for the HarmonyOS app), but it has a much bigger problem in that it’s struggling to get the components in the first place.” Ma said.

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