Huawei reveals plans to deploy Harmony OS on 400 devices this year, including but not limited to smartphones
According to a senior executive of the Chinese telecoms giant, Huawei Technologies intends to extend its reach across 400 million devices before 2021 runs out. This is part of the plans the company has in order to survive the aftermath of harsh US technology restrictions since May 2019.
The head of software at Huawei, Wang Chenglu disclosed at a forum that Huawei intends for Harmony OS to be installed on more than 200 million Huawei devices as well as over 100 million third-party devices. Combining their domestic reach with their third party coverage, harmony OS will be installed on between 300 million to 400 million hardware products by the end of the year.
This bold move by the Shenzhen-based company may threaten to break the deadlock between apple’s iOS and google’s Android, but that remains to be seen. In recent times, new operating systems and app ecosystems have had considerable difficulties gaining widespread adoption amongst the general population.
Harmony OS launched three months after the United States announced the tech restriction baring Huawei from shipping google apps and services on their new products in 2019. By August 2019, Huawei had launched Harmony OS, however, the head of Software denied that Harmony OS was intended to maneuver around US restrictions.
According to Wang, despite speculations about Huawei’s intentions with the development of Harmony OS regarding US sanctions, the operating system was developed with no such intent. He also added that the development of HArmony OS goes back as far as May 2016 when the company had the foresight to concern itself with the fact that all its devices relied on other companies’ software.
Since Harmony OS was unveiled, many enthusiasts have raised concerns as to the striking similarities Harmony OS shares with Android OS. Some have even reported that Harmony OS is compatible with computer software designed for Android.
Huawei maintains that Harmony OS would be open source However, they are yet to release sufficient source code to verify whether or not it will be a completely independent operating system.
According to Wang. Harmony OS is not a copy of android or iOS, rather, the goal of the operating system is to connect the Internet of Things (IoT) equipment for better ease of usage across multiple devices.
Wang described Harmony OS as “meant for the IoT era”, unlike Android that was built for smartphones, and as a result, modifying android for other devices such as TVs and wearables is rather difficult.
The struggle to replace Android is going to be no doubt, an uphill one. Android remains the most popular OS in the world, and as of October 2020, controls a hefty 72% share of the global market according to Statista data. iOS and Android jointly hold about 99% of the global market according to Statista data.
Harmony OS was first made available to the public via a smart TV. The smart TV was launched by Huawei’s former budget brand, Honor back in 2019. However, it was not until the launch of Harmony 2.0 in September 2020 that the company’s business chief executive Richard Yu Chengdong disclosed plans to make all Huawei smartphones fully support the second generation of Harmony OS.
In addition, harmony OS will be used in earphones and smart speakers by the end of the year. By next year, Huawei hopes to add Harmony OS to more devices like virtual reality glasses by the end of 2022.
The beta version of Huawei Harmony OS 2.0 was released in December, it attracted more than 100,000 developers at the end of 2020 as well as other developers from mainstreams apps such as the second largest e-commerce platform in China, JD.com, voice recognition software provider iFlytek, and long-form Video pLatform, Youku.Source