In the mobile phone market, there are two major operating systems, Android and iOS. Although other systems like Tizen, KaiOS and a few others have tried, they didn’t make much impact in the market. Now, it appears that the market now has a confirmed third force in terms of mobile phone operating systems. Huawei officially launched HarmonyOS back in 2019 and since then, its devices in China have been using the system. In a new report from Counterpoint, the market share of Huawei HarmonyOS in China has hit 8%. This makes it the third-largest mobile operating system after Android and iOS.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the global mobile phone sales reveal a 14% year – on – year decline. However, iOS performed better than Android in the market with a year – on – year decrease of 12%, Android, on the other hand, had to cope with a 16% year-on-year decline. The research report also shows that the share of Huawei’s HarmonyOS system has been growing. Its share in the global market remains at around 2% in the first quarter of 2023. However, its share in China will reach 8%.
Analysts point out that China will remain the largest contributor to the Android segment through 2022. Compared with the high-end market, Android is more affected by macroeconomic headwinds in the low-end market. These factors have further affected Android’s share in 2022. However, due to the decline of Huawei, iOS has gained more share in China, especially in the high-end market.
In the U.S. market, iOS and Android are competing for market share. In the first quarter of this year, iOS temporarily took the lead with a 52% share. Furthermore, Apple is getting more attention in India as its iOS share has been growing steadily.
Harmony OS – a growing mobile system from Huawei
HarmonyOS is an open – source OS developed by Huawei Tech. Co. Ltd. It was launched in 2019 as a rival to Google‘s Android and Apple‘s iOS. The development of HarmonyOS was boosted after the US govt imposed a ban on Huawei. The ban prevents the company from using Google’s Android system and other US-made software.
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Features of HarmonyOS
HarmonyOS is designed to work across multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets, smart watches, smart TVs, and other IoT devices. It is based on a microkernel architecture that allows it to be more flexible and scalable than regular monolithic kernels. The microkernel design also makes it more secure and less prone to crashes and other errors.
One of the key features of Harmony OS is its distributed architecture. It allows devices to work together seamlessly. This means that users can share data and resources between devices without having to worry about compatibility issues or other problems.
Challenges Faced by HarmonyOS
One of the biggest issues with Harmony OS is its limited presence outside of China. Huawei has only released the OS in China so far. This means that it has a relatively small user base compared to Android and iOS. This also limits the number of developers who are willing to create apps for the platform. Of course, it will make it harder for Huawei to compete with Google and Apple.
Another issue facing Harmony OS is its reliance on Android. The Harmony OS is a new mobile system but it has a lot of links with Android open – source code. Some say it is based on Android open – source code but there is no proof to this. Huawei has clearly stated several times that the HarmonyOS is completely new.
Growth of HarmonyOS
Despite these issues, the adoption rate of Harmony OS has been high in China. According to a report by TechHQ, Harmony OS is the fastest-growing mobile system in China. At the moment, it has over 400 million devices running the system. Huawei has also announced plans to expand the availability of HarmonyOS to more devices in the future. This includes mobile phones and tablets.
The Chinese gov’s push for more reliance on local tech has also been a driver of demand for Harmony OS. In 2019, China told govt offices and public institutions they had three years to move off PCs that use foreign software and hardware parts. This has created an link for Huawei to promote its own system as a viable alternative to foreign – made software.
No doubt, Huawei put in a lot of efforts on its new system. HarmonyOS has shown decent growth in China despite facing several issues. Its distributed architecture, support for multiple programming languages, and microkernel design make it an innovative operating system with great potential. However, its limited presence outside of China may hinder its growth in the global market. Of course, at the moment, users outside China do not know what to expect from this system. Nevertheless, Huawei’s commitment to expanding the availability of HarmonyOS to more devices suggests that it will continue to be a major player in the mobile operating system market in the years to come.
At the moment, there is no report on the launch of HarmonyOS system outside China. From time to time, the company release mobile phones outside China. However, these phones do not use the Harmony system that the Chinese version uses. They come with the EMUI system.