When Huawei got into U.S. bad books, I wrote that U.S. could be hurting Android, Google mobile operating system, which most phone makers in the developing world rely upon to build their cheap phones.
When it comes to emerging markets, cost matters. So far, Chinese phone makers dominate therein. That they use your software and pay the necessary fees should not be taken for granted. If Trump puts heat and they create an alternative one, by ripping Android apart, future phones in Africa will not be powered by Android. Sure, Samsung will continue to have offices in Africa but it has lost market share because of price. Simply, Samsung will not save Android.
Of course, nothing significant changed as Huawei remains banned. Today, Huawei has a mobile OS – HarmonyOS – and now ready to take on Android. This competitive challenge will happen in phases. Yes, the speculation is over: Android has a real competitor in the developing world. Simply, if other Chinese phone makers like Tecno, Oppo and Mi band together into HarmonyOS, Android may be an endangered species in Africa. I expect them to make that call!
After months of conflicting statements from Huawei executives, the Chinese networking giant on Friday officially unveiled HarmonyOS, the much-anticipated microkernel-based distributed operating system that it has developed to power smartphones, laptops and smart home devices as the company attempts to reduce its reliance on American firms.
“A modularized HarmonyOS can be nested to adapt flexibly to any device to create a seamless cross-device experience. Developed via the distributed capability kit, it builds the foundation of a shared developer ecosystem,” the company said in a statement, adding that it began to explore developing its own operating system “as early as 10 years ago.”
The company said it intends to continue to use Android moving forward, but HarmonyOS is officially its back-up plan if things go south. “We will prioritize Android for smartphones, but if we can’t use Android, we will be able to install HarmonyOS quickly,” Yu said.
Samsung alone with its fashionista pricing cannot save Android; Chinese brands dominate smartphone business in Africa and can move customers because of cost. How did I know? Check how many people in your neighbourhood who are using iPhone even though we do agree that it has great quality. Largely, quality without consideration of device price will not save Android!
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