It hasn’t been easy going this year for Huawei. Recent bans and the ongoing trade-war between the U.S and China has put Huawei between a rock and a hard place.
Earlier this year Google announced that any new Huawei phones would stop receiving Android updates. To which Huawei responded with announcing they had their own OS up and ready to go at a moments notice. (Worth noting these weren’t the exact words but you get the idea).
Eventually the tides began to change and a partial ban was lifted allowing Huawei devices to continue receiving those Android updates from Google.
With such uncertainty surrounding the brand in western markets, it’s understandable Huawei would want to try to ease some of the anxiety of it’s users across the globe. Which is why the announcement of Harmony OS at Huawei’s developer conference shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.
I mean if your business was under constant political pressure and uncertainty you’d be doing the same, right?
What do we know about Harmony OS?
Now with the big news out in the open, what exactly do we know about Harmony OS? Well, very little. According to a recent Wiredreport Harmony OS is currently a multi-device OS which is based on Linux and is open-source. Currently Harmony OS is being used as an operating system for IoT devices. This includes wearables, VR, smart displays, smart glasses, in-car systems, smart speakers etc. For the time being Harmony OS is not going to be used as an alternative to Android in Huawei or Honor smartphones. This was also confirmed by Richard Yu (CEO of Huawei Technologies Consumer Business Group) he stated “When can we put it in our smartphones? We can do it at anytime, but for the Google partnership and efficiency, the priority will be for Google Android OS”. Although, there have been rumors about a Huawei smartphone launching in 2019 which will utilize Harmony OS. However, this is just speculation so take it with a pinch of salt. And that’s it, that’s all we really know. It’s just an IoT device operating system….For now anyways.
Could Harmony OS Survive as a Smartphone OS?
Could Harmony OS survive in the smartphone market place? It’s kind of hard to answer really. While we have seen both Samsung and Windows try to launch their own OS in the past. Both did not last.
Windows OS just didn’t catch on, despite having some nifty features such as the tile layout. While Samsung’s Tizen OS has largely been reduced to their smartwatch line.
The problem with smartphone OS is people have become comfortable with iOS and Android. People know what to expect from each version and both versions work. If something works, why change it right?
Another thing to consider is the App Store and/or Play Store. Developers have been making apps for both market places for years. As such, both stores have library’s filled with content for everyone and anyone. This is something that you can’t directly compete with, it’s something that can only be built over time.
Lastly, iOS has it’s very own dedicated eco-system. Which if you ask anyone who is currently in said eco-system, it’s very difficult to leave. The way Apple products can communicate with each-other and sync together is something not even Google has replicated yet.
Some thoughts on Harmony OS.
I think it would be great to see a new OS in the world. While everyone is used to both iOS and Android, it would be nice to see an OS doing something new and exciting. Something completely different. It’s crazy we only have two operating systems to choose from.
I would like to see Harmony OS succeed and bring features to the table that would make Apple and Google take a step back. Make them re-evaluate what they’re doing with their own OS.
I would also like to see an eco-system that works for someone else other than Apple. By having 2 eco-systems in the market it means more competition, which ultimately leads to better products for us as consumers.
For that reason, I hope Huawei do launch Harmony OS for their smartphone line, I hope they do it well and I hope they can shake up the market place, just as they have done with their phones.
What would you like to see from Harmony OS?
Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, please give us a share!