Huawei says its operating system can rival Google, Apple — but experts say it might be a struggle – CNBC

A visitor holds her telephone displaying an image taken throughout Huawei’s press convention unveiling its new HarmonyOS working system in Dongguan, Guangdong province on August 9, 2019.

Fred Dufour | AFP| Getty Photographs

A high Huawei government stated the Chinese language firm’s cell working system is ready to compete with Google and Apple — however analysts advised CNBC that is perhaps robust to realize, particularly in markets exterior China the place U.S. expertise giants have a powerful foothold.

“Huawei is able to ship an ecosystem that’s on par with Google’s and Apple’s ecosystems,” Huawei’s vice chairman of client cloud companies in its client enterprise, Eric Tan, stated on Tuesday. “We’ve the arrogance to be one of many high ecosystem builders on the earth.” 

He was talking concerning the firm’s personal working system, referred to as the HarmonyOS, which was launched in August.

It comes because the Chinese language expertise large makes an attempt to forge a path forward with out American expertise. 

Huawei’s smartphones have relied on Google’s Android working system for a variety of years. However in 2019, the Chinese language agency was placed on a U.S. blacklist which restricted its entry to American expertise and meant it was not ready to make use of licensed Android software program on its handsets.

In response, Huawei launched its personal working system that very same 12 months.

On Tuesday, Huawei executives spoke about HarmonyOS, enjoying up its capacity to be an working system that may work throughout a variety of units fairly than simply smartphones alone, which may enchantment to builders trying to make apps that work on totally different {hardware}.

The administration additionally talked concerning the Huawei Cell Providers (HMS), a set of assorted Huawei apps from maps to funds to its app retailer. 

Huawei’s declare about having the ability to ship an ecosystem “on par” with Google’s and Apple’s is a giant one, contemplating the corporate solely launched its working system lower than a 12 months in the past.

However Tan backed up his feedback by revealing that by the top of March, Huawei had 1.four million builders on board — up 115% from the top of the primary quarter of 2019. 

In China, the place Huawei is the largest smartphone maker by market share, not getting access to Google’s Android shouldn’t be an enormous downside. That is as a result of Google companies, corresponding to search, are blocked within the nation and customers cannot actually use them anyway. That additionally means Huawei’s HarmonyOS has an opportunity of being profitable within the home market. 

So total with out marquee builders on board its going to be a tricky promote.

Neil Shah

Counterpoint Analysis

Nonetheless, in worldwide markets the place apps are constructed on Google’s companies — integrating maps or funds, for instance — Huawei may discover its HarmonyOS a tricky promote.

“It will not be straightforward for Huawei to construct up a library of premier functions exterior of China, as lots of them depend on Google for issues like digital rights administration, location, cost, and notification companies,” Bryan Ma, vice chairman of units analysis at IDC, advised CNBC.

Huawei was not instantly out there for remark when contacted by CNBC.

“Builders oftentimes need to be selective on which tasks they spend their time on, and a key think about that decision-making is whether or not there’s sufficient of a crucial mass within the consumer base to justify the effort and time spent in porting functions over,” Ma stated.

Huawei’s HMS is much like Google Cell Providers and provides builders kits that can be utilized to combine issues like location companies into apps. The Chinese language agency stated there are 60,000 apps utilizing so-called HMS Core companies, but it surely didn’t break down what international locations or areas these are in. 

Neil Shah, analysis director at Counterpoint Analysis, referred to as the variety of apps “restricted” and stated Huawei remains to be lacking main apps. 

“Exterior of China, it is going to be battle as a lot of the marquee functions come from massive profile U.S. builders — Netflix, Fb properties (Instagram, WhatsApp), Google apps, and many others — that are clearly banned to collaborate with Huawei,” Shah stated.

“So total, with out marquee builders on board, it should be a tricky promote.”

Certainly, a variety of main apps which can be necessary in worldwide markets are usually not on Huawei’s app retailer, referred to as the AppGallery. Customers can’t obtain any Google apps or Fb-owned companies. Netflix or Spotify are usually not out there both. 

Nonetheless, it does have the Amazon Buying app, in addition to video-sharing app TikTok, which is owned by Chinese language agency ByteDance. 

Huawei has expressed its need to get Google apps onto the AppGallery.

“We hope Google companies might be out there via our AppGallery, identical to how Google companies can be found via Apple’s App Retailer,” Eric Xu, rotating chairman at Huawei stated in an interview with CNBC in March

However this shall be a problem, in response to Ma. 

“Authorized issues apart, I discover it extremely unlikely that Google would publish its personal apps into the AppGallery, as they’ve the identical hooks into its companies as third events do. And if something, they wish to drive utilization of their companies,” he stated.

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