“The milestone we mark is that we support Huawei devices from Harmony OS 2.0. At the same time, Harmony OS 2.0 may also be available for devices from other vendors,” said Wang Chenglu, president of the software division of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group at the company’s annual developer conference in Dongguan, China on Thursday.
“Harmony OS 2.0 will be available to all hardware manufacturers.”
The Chinese company also announced that a beta version of the operating system will be available for various categories of devices, including smartwatches and televisions, starting Thursday. Harmony is slated to roll out on phones in December.
Huawei’s move is likely aimed at “getting broader adoption” of Harmony OS and then attracting more app developers, Kiranjeet Kaur, senior analyst at IDC, said in an email to CNET.
“But I’m a little skeptical how many would actually take it over, considering that Huawei is actually a competitor,” said Kaur. “Though some Chinese players may keep it as a backup option if they face the same similar restrictions in global markets and Harmony OS becomes increasingly popular in China.”
Huawei announced this at the same conference. This is a change of course for the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer .
Huawei first introduced Harmony last year after it was added to the list of US companies that prevented American companies from doing business with the Chinese phone maker. Due to the US trade ban, Huawei phones were left without the full power of Google Mobile Services and a number of popular Google proprietary apps, including Gmail, the Google Play Store, and Google Maps.
Huawei says there are 96,000 apps built into Huawei Mobile Services – an increase from 60,000 in May when the company last publicly released that number. The company also announced it had 1.8 million developments on board, up from 1.4 million in May. Even when you factor in this advance, it’s a small fraction compared to the number of app developers on iOS or Android who have dominated the mobile operating system market for years.