Richard Yu, CEO of the buyer division at Huawei, delivers a keynote on the Huawei Developer Convention on September 10, 2020. Huawei launched the second model of its HarmonyOS working system.


GUANGZHOU, China — Huawei launched the second model of its personal working system on Thursday, pushing it to third-party gadget makers because it seems to be to create a viable various to Google’s Android. 

Final yr, Huawei took the wraps off HarmonyOS, it is personal cross-device working system. It got here after the corporate was placed on the U.S. Entity Record, a blacklist that restricted some U.S. corporations from promoting their merchandise to the Chinese language tech large.

Google suspended enterprise exercise with Huawei, forcing the agency to launch flagship smartphones with out a licensed model of the U.S. firm’s Android working system. That is not a giant deal in China the place Google companies like Gmail or search are blocked. However, it is crucial in Huawei’s worldwide markets the place shoppers are used to utilizing such apps. 

Whereas Huawei turned the primary smartphone maker on the earth within the second quarter, most of that was due to the China market with its large inhabitants, whereas worldwide markets noticed a pointy decline. 

The most recent transfer is designed to bolster the variety of builders on board by rising the quantity of customers of HarmonyOS. In the end, a robust developer and consumer base would profit Huawei if it will definitely makes use of HarmonyOS by itself smartphones, one thing it has not performed but. 

HarmonyOS 2.0

Huawei touts HarmonyOS as a cellular working system that may work throughout plenty of totally different gadgets. Builders solely must create one model of the app that ports throughout a number of items of {hardware}, the corporate claims. 

On Thursday, Huawei launched HarmonyOS 2.Zero and stated {that a} beta model of the working system shall be open to builders for gadgets like smartwatches, TVs and in-car head items from September 10 and for smartphones in December. 

From these dates, builders will have the ability to experiment and develop apps for HarmonyOS. 

“Perhaps ranging from subsequent yr we are going to see smartphones with HarmonyOS,” Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s shopper division, stated throughout a keynote speech on Thursday.

Huawei’s personal smartphones don’t use HarmonyOS but. 

Bryan Ma, vice chairman of gadgets analysis at IDC, stated that gadget makers is perhaps enthusiastic about having HarmonyOS as a “fallback choice” in case they face related bans on utilizing Google. However they may not essentially need to work with Huawei. 

“Alternatively, they’re going to suppose twice about working with an arch-rival that has so aggressively competed with them in China over the previous yr. I feel they may discover their choices however not commit till there may be extra readability on how U.S. coverage may change subsequent yr,” Ma advised CNBC by e mail. 

Query marks abroad

The 2 greatest cellular working techniques proper now — Google Android and Apple’s iOS — have change into profitable as a result of they’ve thousands and thousands of builders making apps for his or her respective app shops. 

Huawei is engaged on increase its base of high-quality apps. By opening HarmonyOS to extra gadgets, Huawei shall be hoping to get the working system throughout as many gadgets as doable and improve the variety of customers. That can make it extra enticing for builders to make apps. If Huawei does finally use HarmonyOS by itself smartphone, it would need an working system that’s as robust as doable. 

The Chinese language large has its personal app retailer and different companies like maps underneath a banner known as Huawei Cellular Companies (HMS). HMS is just like Google Cellular Companies and provides builders kits that can be utilized to combine issues like location companies into apps. 

Huawei stated 96,000 apps are built-in with HMS, up from 60,000 in Could, the final time they publicly launched such a determine. There are additionally 1.eight million builders on board, up from 1.four million in Could. 

Huawei’s Yu pitched HarmonyOS as a approach for Chinese language builders to get their apps to abroad shoppers, presumably hinting that Huawei needs to take the working system world. In the meantime, Yu stated he hopes HarmonyOS may help worldwide builders serve Chinese language shoppers. 

“We want to be the bridge in between,” Yu stated.

What’s unclear at this level is when Huawei may launch HarmonyOS by itself smartphones, a necessity that has change into extra urgent since being reduce off from Google final yr. 

Specialists beforehand forged doubt over the potential success of HarmonyOS in worldwide markets given the very fact it does not have key apps comparable to Spotify or Netflix and its unlikely Google will put its personal apps on Huawei’s software program. 

In the meantime, Huawei is dealing with points past software program. The U.S. amended a rule which requires overseas chipmakers utilizing American tools to fabricate elements to get a license from Washington earlier than having the ability to promote semiconductors to Huawei. This has reduce Huawei off from its major producer of chips, TSMC, a transfer that would have large implications for its capability to make smartphones and different gadgets. Huawei additionally has only a few alternate options.