Huawei issues clarion call for HarmonyOS developers

  • Huawei rotating chairman, Eric Xu, urged developers to collaborate on native apps for the company’s mobile operating system – HarmonyOS.
  • He made the call during the 21st Huawei Analyst Summit, held earlier this month.
  • By the end of 2023, HarmonyOS was deployed on more than 800 million devices.

Huawei held its 21st annual Analyst Summit earlier this month, where much of the focus was on the company’s mobile operating system – HarmonyOS.

While the operating system is found on a wide array of devices within the Chinese market, in regions like South Africa for example, HarmonyOS can only be accessed via a handful of wearables from the company.

It looks 2024 is the year that Huawei aims to change that in some respects, with a call being issued to all mobile developers by rotating chairman, Eric Xu (pictured below), asking them to work on native apps for HarmonyOS in particular.

“We call on all app developers and owners in China to join our HarmonyOS-native app ecosystem as soon as possible, and work together to deliver a better experience to consumers,” said Xu.

While those in SA have only had a small taste of Huawei’s next-generation operating system in recent years, it is available on smartphones, wearables, tablets, and smart TVs in other parts of the world, with it being deployed on more than 800 million devices by the end of 2023, according to the company.

“Huawei has made substantial progress in developing the HarmonyOS ecosystem, with more than 4,000 of the targeted 5,000 apps already in the process of being ported to the new operating system. The company aims to eventually have as many as a million apps configured for its ecosystem,” shared Huawei in a release with Hypertext.

While porting existing applications is one part of the strategy in terms of raising the profile of the operating system, Huawei is also quick to acknowledge the important role that developers will play ion helping to grow this specific mobile ecosystem if it plans to catch up with the likes of Android and iOS, which are far more mature at this stage.

“In the past, our focus was mostly on adapting HarmonyOS for all sorts of devices. But for apps, they were still working within the Android ecosystem. In the China market, Huawei smartphone users spend 99% of their time on about 5,000 apps. So we decided to spend 2024 porting these apps over to HarmonyOS first in our drive to truly unify the OS and the app ecosystem,” explained Xu. 

“In 2024, one of our key objectives is to build up the HarmonyOS-native app ecosystem. This is a massive undertaking, but we have broad support in the industry and from many app developers. Once we have these first 5,000 Android apps – and thousands of other apps – up and running on HarmonyOS, we will have a real HarmonyOS: a third mobile operating system for the world, in addition to Apple iOS and Google Android,” he pointed out.

It will be interesting to see whether Huawei can indeed reach the goals it wants to with HarmonyOS, especially given the ongoing struggles that being on the US entity list have meant for the brand’s development outside of China.

What is clear, however, is that the company is actively looking to engage more with developers in order to make HarmonyOS a more mature ecosystem.


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