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Updated OS heralds Huawei ecosystem

By MA SI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-10-23 07:43
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A shopper tries out Huawei's HarmonyOS products at a store in Beijing. [MAO XUQIAN/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Huawei Technologies Co updated HarmonyOS, its self-developed operating system or OS, to preview version 3.0 for developers on Friday, marking efforts to build its own software ecosystem.

HarmonyOS 3.0 follows installation of previous versions on more than 150 million devices, including smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.

Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, said at the annual Huawei Developer Conference in Dongguan, Guangdong province, on Friday that Huawei has already devoted more than 50 billion yuan ($7.83 billion) in the past three years to building the ecosystem for HarmonyOS, which is designed for the internet of things, or IoT, era.

HarmonyOS 3.0 for developers builds on the previous 2.0 version, which was launched in June this year.

Huawei said HarmonyOS 3.0 preview version for developers allows third-party software developers to use more powerful tools to innovate across more types of terminal devices, bringing consumers a new experience of intelligent connection of all things.

Tim Gong, president of software at Huawei's consumer business group, said the HarmonyOS 3.0 beta version for consumers will be launched in the first quarter of 2022.

Huawei said earlier it expects the number of devices equipped with HarmonyOS to reach 300 million by the end of this year, including more than 200 million for Huawei devices.

HarmonyOS was first unveiled in August 2019, after the US government restricted Huawei's access to Google's Android operating system. But Huawei has underlined that HarmonyOS is not a replacement to Android. Instead, it is a next-generation OS designed for the IoT era and will seek to deliver a smooth experience across different devices.

Huawei said in August that more than 300 partners, including home appliance maker Midea, artificial intelligence company iFlytek and cookware company Supor, have adopted the HarmonyOS.

Xiang Jiangxu, vice-president and chief technology officer of Midea IoT, said, "HarmonyOS will cover almost all categories of our products, some 200 varieties, within this year."

The OS will help build an efficient link between Midea's products and the smart IoT system, Xiang said, adding that more home appliances equipped with HarmonyOS will soon be available in the market.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association, said the progress showcased Huawei's appeal to both consumers and its industrial partners.

But the road ahead is still tough, and it will take more time and efforts for Huawei to build a vibrant ecosystem of software and hardware partners. That is the key for the operating system to survive in the highly competitive digital world, Xiang said.

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