Huawei’s 2021 Harmony OS Launch Will Be A Game-Changer In The US-China Tech And Trade War. Harmony OS takeover will not be a walk in the park but its influence and resolve to succeed in the market should not be underestimated. The coming U.S. election will be a huge contributing factor.
September Launch Of Harmony OS
Huawei’s announcement that it would launch its self-made operating system, Harmony OS, comes as a surprise to a few people but not to experts who understand the innovation and tech grand plan of China. The launch which took place on September 10th was only introducing the second version of Huawei’s Harmony OS 2.0. The Chinese tech giant stated that the operating system will be installed in its own mobile devices in December in preparation for its full launch by 2021.
U.S Restricting Huawei
Last year, Huawei was added to the U.S. entity list which restricts U.S. companies from supplying certain products like Kirin Processor chips, which are essential for mobile phone production, to Huawei. This ban facilitated Huawei’s plan for its own OS which is part of China’s plans to develop its high-tech sector. Such plans remain implacable until the entire technology and business ecosystem have asserted their position.
“Made In China” Initiative Crucial For 5G Telecommunication Sector
In 2015, the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang launched the “Made in China” (MIC 2025) initiative. The plan focuses on ten main industrial sectors including the information technology and 5G telecommunication sector, the AI and robotics sector, the naval industry, the railway transportation sector, the power generation sector, etc. Goods manufactured from China were formerly regarded as less superior and the initiative will lead to Chinese production of high-quality goods that would compete with global standards.
Protectionist Chinese Economy Giving Huawei A Competitive Edge
The Chinese Government runs a state-driven and protectionist economy which gives Huawei a strong competitive edge over its competitors like Apple, Google, and many other competitors in a capitalist market.
Chinese-owned businesses are massively subsidized by the government thus offering customers high-quality products at highly competitive prices. So how can Huawei’s Harmony OS launch in 2021 lead a massive economic campaign, make them an added value competitor, and challenge Google’s Android OS, and Apple’s iOS since they grossly dominate the market?
The Current Market Share For Operating Systems
According to IDC’s research on operating systems, in 2019, Google’s Android alone accounted for 86.1% of the OS market share while Apple’s iOS accounted for the remaining 13.9%. This year, Google’s Android fell by one percent to account for 85% while Apple’s iOS increased, accounting for over 15% of the operating system.
According to the research’s future projection for the year 2024, Android’s OS will dominate the market with 86.2% while iOS will account for 13.8%, all things being equal. This will make it even more challenging for Harmony OS to get into the market competition.
Huawei Smartphone Supply
The number of Huawei’s smartphones may ease their competitive edge since it has established the market base. According to Statista’s research, Huawei overtook Samsung smartphone supply to become number one by accounting for about 20.2% of the global smartphone market share in the second quarter of 2020 with 54.8 million smartphones. Samsung came second in the smartphone market share with 19.5% accounting for 54.2 million smartphones shipped to end-users in the second quarter of 2020. Apple came third with 13.6% making up 37.5 million phone supplies.
Will Other Apps Be Compatible Harmony OS?
According to Richard Yu Chengdong, the chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group during the company’s annual developer’s conference, he said that Android apps will not be compatible with Harmony OS but migrating them will be very easy for their team of developers, requiring a day or two to get done. This will be made possible with Huawei’s Ark Compiler which took about ten years to be developed. The tool helps developers make Android-backed apps easily compatible with Harmony OS. But there is yet another challenge.
Huawei’s Harmony OS has about 81 thousand apps according to the company’s tweet in July. In comparison to Google’s Android OS, and Apple’s iOS that have accumulated millions of apps. The company has also announced that its OS will be available for other hardware production companies.
Will The Giant Apps Join Harmony OS?
The survival of Huawei’s Harmony OS global competition depends on how many apps it can get on board to join them. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter have indicated that their apps will not be installed on Huawei’s device if the ban continues. Facebook, Google, and Youtube are all banned in China. This will make the base market easier for Harmony OS to take over.
A lot is at stake for Huawei. Previously, other companies that threatened to challenge Google’s Android OS and Apple iOS dominance met with failure. However, the competence of the team of developers, their astuteness in taking over the industry, the Chinese Government continued support, the Chinese base market size which is already available, and the outcome of the U.S. national election would determine if Harmony OS would become the third OS in the world or would fail like previous competitors. Its success will have an untold impact on the two existing OS which dominate the OS ecosystem.
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