Things have been particularly tough for Huawei as of late, with pending US bans stripping it of access to Google services and a shortage of chipsets due to third party manufacturers being forced to drop their support. Rather than play a wounded victim however, Huawei continues to fight and use the experience to become a company that is no longer reliant on third-party hardware and software providers.
A big part of Huawei’s long-term plan involves removing itself from the Android ecosystem entirely, as the company is working on its own operating system, called HarmonyOS. Huawei launched the first version of the OS a few years ago, but have used it to focus mostly on powering wearables rather than smartphones. The company has just announced a new HarmonyOS 2.0 SDK which it’s making available to developers, to further expand the feature set of their operating system. And while Huawei is still not ready to focus on smartphones just yet, it shows the company’s commitment to becoming an operating system giant with an eventual move onto bigger things in the smartphone and personal computing market.
According to The Verge, Huawei’s new OpenHarmony project will allow developers to build upon an open-source version of the OS (similar to the approach taken by Android). The company is currently only supporting devices with 128MB of RAM or below but plans to expand that to 4GB in April of next year as it explores more powerful devices like smartphones. If all goes according to plan, the plan is to have the memory limit removed completely by October 2021.
It’s a great initiative by Huawei to continue offering competition to a market dominated by Google and Apple. While it will most definitely find lots of support from Chinese companies, it will struggle to garner support – especially on the app development front, from many Western companies. If market sentiment towards the brand changes though, they could have the staying power to take on Google in the mobile OS game.
Last Updated: September 14, 2020