Huawei opened an account for its self-developed Harmony operating system (OS) on China’s popular social media platform Sina Weibo on Tuesday, Industry analysts say. This action may indicate that the much-anticipated OS, which could help Huawei circumvent a US export ban, will be officially launched on mobile phones soon.
The account, named “Huawei HarmonyOS,” has not posted anything since its Tuesday launch, but it has already accumulated over 30,000 followers as of Wednesday.
For a time, Chinese technology enthusiasts have been closely monitoring and anticipating the domestically developed operating system. Some Huawei smartphone users reported receiving a push notification in late April for the beta update of HarmonyOS 2.0 and registering to upgrade to the new beta system.
Huawei mobile phones are expected to begin promoting the HarmonyOS to consumers in early June, an independent digital blogger named Pengpengjunjiadao revealed on his Weibo account on Saturday, citing Wang Chenglu, Huawei’s consumer business unit’s head of software.
The blogger stated that he expects the Huawei Mate 40, Mate 30, P40, and Mate X2 series to be among the first to receive the HarmonyOS upgrade in early June, adding that other “older brands,” including those under Huawei’s divested Honor brand, will also be able to use the new operating system later this year.
HarmonyOS, which was unveiled in 2019, was widely regarded as the Chinese tech giant’s replacement for Google’s Android OS, as the Chinese company was previously prohibited from using Google’s services due to a US government export ban.
With China’s massive consumer base, a beneficent testing environment, and rapid deployment of 5G networks, the Chinese tech giant may have an opportunity to grow HarmonyOS into the world’s third largest mobile ecosystem, behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, Ma told the Global Times on Wednesday.
However, industry analysts warn that, as a result of Huawei’s shrinking smartphone market share in both domestic and international markets as a result of the US export ban, the development of HarmonyOS will face some difficulties.
Huawei’s market share in the domestic smartphone market has been declining in recent months. According to research firm Canalys, in the first quarter this year, it ranked only third in China’s smartphone market with a share of 16 percent, following Vivo and Oppo, which became China’s largest and second-largest smartphone brands.
“In order to develop the OS ecosystem, it must first resolve its device manufacturing issue, or it must seek cooperation with other smartphone manufacturers and convince them to use the new system – which will take time,” the analyst explained.