Saturday, August 17, 2019

Why Huawei's Harmony OS will be a success



Huawei recently announced their new open-source operating system called Harmony OS. This is following the ban imposed on the Chinese tech giants by the American government which saw them lose their ability to work with another tech giant in Google. Since Huawei depends on Google’s android OS, making it unavailable to them put their whole smartphone business in jeopardy. Huawei’s answer to that problem was to introduce their own OS which according to them has been in development since 2012. This would not the first time a company has tried to replace android or provide a compelling alternative.  Microsoft tried and failed, so why do I think Huawei’s os is going to be different? Let us first look at why  Microsoft failed. 


Microsoft's windows mobile operating system had a nice look to it and at the very least provided something new to what we were used to back then. Windows phones were also very durable mainly because they were manufactured by Nokia who were and are still noted for the strong smartphones they produce, but ultimately they failed due to the lack of third-party apps that were not available on the OS. I can't stress enough how important this is because the reason why people     buy phones is to enable them to use the apps which are available on the phone’s OS. This alone was enough to prevent Microsoft from having any chance of rivaling android, and this segue ways nicely into why I think Huawei’s OS will be a success. According to Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, even though the harmony OS will not be compatible with android apps out of the box, developers will only need to make “small changes” to their apps to compile them to run on Harmony OS. Coupled with Harmony OS also being open source means that third-party apps will not be an issue.  Another exciting thing is just how fast it’s going to be with Huawei stating that their OS is 60% faster than android and has a verified Trust Execution Environment to improve security. Harmony OS is different from android and iOS because it's a microkernel-based system which makes it easy to be adapted to different systems  like smartwatches, vehicles, laptops, etc





Another reason is the fact that Huawei is a huge company and are second only to Samsung when it comes to smartphone sales with a market share of 18.3% currently, meaning they have the resources and reach to compel developers to develop apps for their platform. Banning Huawei has been a  blessing in disguise because other tech giants like Xioami and Oppo have realized a similar thing could happen to them, and therefore an alternative open source OS is worth taking seriously but since they do not have the same resources Huawei has to develop their own, they have decided to partner Huawei to co-develop the OS by adopting it themselves on some smartphones to be released only in China for now. This is very significant with China’s smartphone industry being one of the biggest if not the biggest in the world. Let's not also forget that Huawei has the entire backing of the Chinese government which is a huge advantage, and one that Microsoft never had. Huawei is the largest smartphone company in China and they sell millions of smartphones, and since Google apps like gmail already don’t work in China, it is going to be no problem at all for Huawei to effectively produce devices with harmony OS in china with little to no drop in sales.

I strongly believe that with all the backing and resources at Huawei’s disposal, they can finally, break the monopoly that Google has on the smartphone industry. And who knows, Samsung might also jump the “android ship” if harmony OS becomes the success I believe it is going to be.

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