China’s largest telecommunications company, Huawei, has announced the first list of devices operating in its internal HarmonyOS system. This includes two new tablets and a smartwatch.
The company HarmonyOS is an operating system that should replace Android on its devices, following a ban on US trading in the company to prevent it from using the Google platform.
Google has issued its Android license to Huawei following a trade ban, meaning the Chinese giant can no longer install native Google apps on its devices out of the box. HarmonyOS comes with its own app store, called App Gallery, designed to replace the Google Play Store. While devices operating on the platform are not yet available in India yet, it will play a key role in Huawei’s future. The operating system should work on all types of devices, including smartphones, laptops, TVs and more.
New devices include MatePad Pro and MatePad 11 tablets, and Huawei Watch 3 smartwatch.
The fact that Huawei will not be able to run Android on its devices has already affected its business over the past year. According to April 2021 data from Counterpoint Research, the company’s market share dropped to 4% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 8% in the fourth quarter of 2020. We had a 17% market share at the beginning of last year, and the company even took a high position in the market for a while last year.
Interestingly, the new tablets still use chips from Qualcomm, even though American companies are banned from doing business with a telecommunications company. The MatePad Pro (sold in 12.6-inch and 10.8-inch variants) will run on Snapdragon 870 chips from Qualcomm. On the other hand, the MatePad 11 works on Snapdragon 865 chips. According to a letter from the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) to the government in March, Huawei had bought chips worth two years before September last year, possibly chips in these new devices they are not part of this supply.
The company also made chips under the HiSilicon brand, but also faced problems with running the business, due to penalties. Huawei vice-chairman Eric Xu Zhijun had told a conference of analysts in April that the company had enough chip equipment at the moment and would keep the HiSilicon unit running for as long as possible.