Wednesday 2nd June 2021 - Huawei is set to launch a continent-wide rollout of its recently updated operating system (called HarmonyOS). The operating system, developed by Huawei, is set to be installed not only in its smartphones but also in a variety of its products such as Smart TVs.
The HarmonyOS rollout event in Asia is set for 2nd June. However, no official date has been set yet for global launch. Huawei has had a tumultuous time in the last few months, which stemmed from trade wars between the U.S and China that saw the former impose a trade deal in 2020 that effectively barred the Asian tech giant’ devices from cooperating fully with Google’s Android. The ban led Google to block access to key apps such as Gmail for Huawei devices.
HarmonyOS Not A Replacement for Android
By developing the HarmonyOS, Huawei did however say it wasn’t seeking to replace Android, which accounts for over 80% of its phone shipments in the last two years, according to research conducted by tech firm IDC.
Before the recent update, the Harmony Operating system has been part of Huawei's products that included wristwatches and smart TVs, but the June 2nd rollout would see it installed in a wide range of Huawei’s products, including its smartphones (although only in Asia for now).
This development doesn't mark the end of the use of Android OS for Huawei devices. Moreover, the trade ban imposed by Trump last year was effectively meant to limit the functionality of Huawei handsets with Android.
HarmonyOS Support Devices and Products
The focus for this launch would be on the products such as smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, soundbars, and speakers, which are all internet-connected devices. Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, said that in installing HarmonyOS in a wide range of products, Huawei is looking to follow Apple’s lead by use of a single software that functions on multiple devices. That is, this operating system is designed to match the booming market for internet-connected household devices globally and especially in Asia where it enjoys a huge percentage of customers that buy its products.
Huawei Looking to Expand Its Horizons
Ahead of the much-anticipated launch, sales prospects have expressed their delight as seen from Huawei’s official social media accounts as well as Chinese public forums such as Weibo. The new operating system has enjoyed promotion efforts by China's Communist Youth League and other movements, with the last week seeing over 20 million users sharing the excitement through the hashtag “TheHarmonySmartphoneSystemIsHere.”
On the backdrop of this excitement, the Shenzhen-based giant is hoping to equip over 300 million devices with its new operating system come to the end of the 2021 fiscal year, with the majority being smartphones, smart TVs, and speakers. The delight ahead of the breakthrough launch in China has been exacerbated by the trade sanctions imposed last year by former U.S president Donald Trump.
(Written and edited by Ricard Oyamo, for The Decision Maker)