When Trump banned Huawei from US, several US companies including Google were forced to end engagement with the Chinese giant. Google terminating engagement with Huawei meant that Huawei would not be receiving latest updates on Huawei’s powered Android devices, implying that the Huawei devices running on Android would technically be rendered useless. The only way Huawei could salvage its phones is to have an in-house Operating system – something like Harmony OS.
“Harmony OS is completely different from Android and iOS,” says Richard Yu, CEO – Huawei Consumer Business Group. “It is a microkernel-based, distributed OS that delivers a smooth experience across all scenarios. It has trustworthy and secure architecture and it supports seamless collaboration across devices. You can develop your apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices.”
Having an in-house Operating System is a great idea. Apple’s success with iPHone is largely pegged on the fact that the company from its very beginning chose to make own OS instead of relying on third parties like Microsoft. The policy has allowed Apple to have total control over the capabilities of its devices – particularly allowing Apple to implement the highest level of security features that make the devices almost unhackable.
Creating own OS that people prefer is not that simple though. Samsung for example has had its own Tizen OS since 2011, an OS that Samsung uses on very few devices. The South Korean phone maker still largely relies on Android for almost all its smartphone devices all the way from low budget like the Samsung J series to flagships like the S and Note series. The main reason why Samsung and others find it hard to ditch Android is the App ecosystem Android has built over the years.
Although Huawei says the Harmony OS will be open source, with developers allowed to create apps for it using the ARK Compiler, before users prefer the OS over Android will take a while. To accelerate the acceptability of the OS, Huawei might be forced to pay developers behind popular Apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, the numerous Google Apps, and a thousand others into their ecosystem, otherwise Harmony OS is likely to remain a fringe OS just like Tizen.
Or probably the Asian phone makers like Samsung, Sony, Huawei, LG, Xiaomi, Oppo, and the other bing phone makers should come together and develop a true Android competitor. Android is after all popular due to these Asian gadgets. Without them, Android would be dead.