The Huawei Developer Conference 2020 kicked off this morning, with the Chinese firm finding itself in a rather interesting situation of late. It’s something that consumer business CEO Richard Yu acknowledged during his keynote, citing the ongoing issues with US sanctions and the challenges it has created for the company.
Regardless, Huawei appears to be pushing on, and one significant element of its ecosystem is HarmonyOS. Revealed at last year’s conference as an operating system design for smart devices and to empower a potential IoT environment, at the time, Android and HMS were the go-to elements that Huawei would be using on the mobile side of things.
That could soon change, as Yu confirmed that Huawei is working to rollout HarmonyOS 2.0 to developers in the form of a beta. Aspects of said beta are available today, coinciding with the developer conference, with an SDK designed specifically for use in smartwatches, car infotainment systems and smart TVs.
In December though, a smartphone version of the SDK for HarmonyOS 2.0 will be rolled out for developers.
Thereafter, Yu explained the roadmap for the commercial availability of HarmonyOS on smartphones. To that end it will be available on all devices with storage ranging from 128MB to 4GB from April 2021. From October 2021 onwards, it will be available on devices with 4GB-plus storage, which is likely where most smartphones will be added to the mix.
Interestingly, by October next year, we should have sat through another Huawei Developer Conference, where hopefully more of the functionality of HarmonyOS 2.0 will be unpacked.
With Huawei facing pressure on all side in terms of its mobile business, it has still been able to garner the support of 1.8 million developers and 490 active users with its HMS ecosystem. Granted, many of those are in China, but it is clear to see that Huawei has no plans to stop the expansion of its ecosystem.
Whether HarmonyOs is the critical piece of the puzzle to get Huawei on par with Apple and Google and their mobile operating systems, remains to be seen.