Huawei may replace Android with its new operating system – here’s how South Africa will be affected
- Huawei announced a new operating system Harmony which will not work on Android on Friday.
- Huawei said the new operating system will reduce its reliance on Google’s Android.
- For now, South African buyers of Huawei phones won't get Harmony, and phones will still come with Android.
- Huawei watches will probably start to come with Harmony in 2021.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.
Huawei, the world’s second largest mobile manufacturer, announced a new operating system Harmony on Friday.
The new open source operating system will reduce the company’s reliance on Android.
The US briefly blocked companies from doing work with Huawei in May, which forced Google to revoke Huawei’s Android license during that time.
Speaking at Huawei’s annual developer conference, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu said Huawei is launching Harmony, not only to reduce the company’s reliance on Google’s Android, but also to simplify the coding base for a growing number of devices.
He said currently operating systems are fragmented for every single device category, which means that a developer has to build an application for each device category it operates on.
Facebook, for example, has to build an application for a watch, a second one for a cellphone, a third one for tabled, a fourth for television, fifth for augmented reality, and sixth for internet-of-things because of coding differences.
With Harmony, Huawei hopes that developers will be able to build only one application on one code-base and scale it among different device categories.
However, all apps that have been designed for Android and iOS will now also have to be developed in Harmony.
Yu said Harmony will be ready for consumers by next year, but consumers around the world, including South Africa, will continue to buy Huawei phones using Google’s Android.
Development of the operating system will near completion in 2021 whereafter Huawei will start rolling out Harmony on devices starting with wearables such as smartwatches.
In the event that the United States does, however, block companies from doing business with Huawei, the company will switch over to its newly announced Harmony platform for all, he said.
“We called it Harmony because we want to bring more harmony and convenience to the world,” Yu said.
It is unclear if existing Huawei phones will receive Harmony, or if consumers will be able to upgrade to Harmony.
More details are expected to be released on the Saturday of the Huawei’s developer congress.
Yu admitted that Huawei sales have been affected by global sanctions, but said despite the global pressure it was able to increase sales by 24%.
Huawei now has 530 million active worldwide users, up from 420 million a year ago.
This number would’ve been higher, and Huawei would’ve been the world’s largest smartphone maker if it wasn’t for global pressures, Yu said.
Huawei South Africa paid for James de Villiers’ trip to its developers’ world congress in Dongguan, China.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- Why a fiery phone call from Pravin Gordhan shows all hope is not lost for South Africa
- A security firm says it has discovered a flaw in WhatsApp that would allow hackers to alter your messages
- Crisis-hit Cell C owes MTN almost R400 million – and MTN is losing hope of getting the money back
- A top EU privacy regulator is looking into how millions of Instagram users' personal data was harvested by one of the company's partners
- Samsung ditched the controversial Bixby button for the Galaxy Note 10, but it also changed how you turn the phone off in the process
- Audi says its sleek new R30,000 electric scooter rides like 'surfing waves' on pavement