Huawei is still battling it out against western economies to get its old glory back but even at that, the Chinese tech giant may be taking a different approach in how it’s fighting the battle.
A good example is reducing its dependence on foreign technologies such as its devices’ operating systems. After it got axed back in 2019, the company had to swiftly hasten the development and deployment of its proprietary operating system, the HarmonyOS which now runs in the majority of its devices – further slicing the smartphone OS market into three unequal parts.
Recently, the third generation of the HarmonyOS is now out and it’s designed to provide a much more seamless experience across multiple devices where it’s being used. The cross-platform operating system runs on consumer electronics devices including smartphones, tablets, printers, cars, and smart home devices like TVs.
To further expand its service portfolio, the new addition is called Petal Chuxing, a ride-hailing service that pulls together third-party service providers. Running on HarmonyOS 3, the new app is compatible with several Huawei devices including smartphones, watches, and tablets.
Despite the number of ride-hailing services including the leader, Didi, Huawei said it wasn’t aiming to compete with anyone. Didi Chuxing recently got axed with a US$1.2 billion fine by Chinese regulators following a year-long cybersecurity investigation.
THE SUNDAY BYTE!
Subscribe to get access to weekly tech industry updates, reports, insiders’ insights, best product Bargains and so much more every Sunday
Huawei’s decision to carry on with its self-developed operating system and introduce a ride-hailing service is part of the company’s effort to revive its consumer business which is currently being crippled by US sanctions.
As for the HarmonyOS, the software made its debut back in 2019 after the tech giant got axed by the US government. Blacklisting Huawei prevented the firm from buying software, chips, and other technologies from American companies or even any American technologies for that matter. That prevented Google from licensing its mobile software service or GMS to Huawei prompting Huawei to sell many devices back then with Android sans Google.
While such devices would do just fine in China, its biggest market, on the international market, the company suffered beside other competitors like Xiaomi, OPPO, OnePlus, and ASUS, all of which had Google-based Android OS running on their devices.
This led to the untimely demise of Huawei mobile devices on the global market. In fact, Huawei had to sell its sub-brand, Honor so as to not hurt the growth and potential of the brand.
With that, the company has been exploring several alternative business opportunities such as trying to convince other hardware makers to adopt HarmonyOS.
The first device to launch with HarmonyOS was a smart television unveiled in August 2019 by Huawei’s then-subsidiary Honor.
The HarmonyOS 2.0 was adopted by the firm’s smartphones last year while a car-specific HarmonyOS Smart Cockpit was deployed on an electric vehicle launched in China earlier this year, co-developed with Seres.
To date, over 300 million Huawei devices have been equipped with various versions of HarmonyOS, Richard Yu Chengdong, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, said on Wednesday.
HarmonyOS 3 will be made available to more devices starting in September, the company said.
Even though it’s still the only one using its operating system, Huawei is trying to convince other brands to adopt HarmonyOS knowing fully well this will be an uphill battle due to the sheer amount of notoriety Android already has across the world with a huge 72% share in the smartphone market according to a data from StatCounter.
Huawei’s total sales last year dropped by nearly a third from 2020 to reach US$100 billion making it its worst annual sales performance on record. Its consumer business made up mostly of smartphone sales was the worst hit with revenue plunging half the CN¥243.4 billion
Despite the challenges, Huawei continues to invest in HarmonyOS amid Beijing’s call for Chinese companies to develop home-grown computer operating systems and reduce dependence on foreign rivals, such as Microsoft Windows and Google’s Android.
It’s a new year and it’s the best time to get yourself the best gadgets and gizmos at an extremely lower price point. Explore our Bargains and Deals from top eStores and find out what’s best for you this new year!