Mobile Operating Systems - Harmony OS 2.0 influencing a new era?

Posted on Feb 15th 2021 by Miira Vehviläinen
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Android OS and iOS were both released over 10 years ago, Android in 2008 and iOS in 2007. Since then they have become the two ruling operating systems in the world, eliminating many others through out the years. Mobile Operating Systems play a valid part in the smartphone market since majority of the people choose their devices based on the operating system. Many iPhone users often claim that changing their smartphone to one with an Android OS would never in a million years happen, since Android is too complex to learn over again, and the other way around for Android users - and I 100% get it. People want everything to be new, exciting and up to date but at the same time as simple as possible. People don’t want to waste their time on learning something completely new, especially when the matter is smartphones which we use all day every day. 


While iOS is only available on Apple’s products, Android OS is available for many. According to the statistics, in 2020 approximately 84,8% of the smartphones sold were running Android and only 15,2% were running iOS. The difference is enormous, but somehow people seem to still think that Apple is ruling the game with iOS users, but the numbers show the truth. These numbers however have not left any room for other operating systems to succeed for whatever reason. Operating Systems such as Bada, Blackberry OS and Windows Mobile, are probably something many have never heard of because Android has locked up the game for most of the devices. The statistics have predicted the future of the latter percents, and in 2021 the difference is estimated to be exactly 85/15.

But now - Huawei announced its new operating system Harmony OS 2.0. in the fall of 2020 and announced it to start as operating system on devices this year 2021. Huawei first introduced its Harmony OS in 2019 and back then they already claimed it to be more secure and faster than Android. At the moment the market for Harmony OS 2.0 seems to locate mostly in China due to Huawei’s restrictions in US, which includes Huawei’s ban to use Google’s apps. This might seem like a huge problem, not to be able to use Google, but in China that is not a problem. But that is what limits the area of Harmony having possibilities for gaining popularity, since Google tools are highly used everywhere else. If other Chinese vendors join the new operating system, it could take off, but the market anywhere where Google is highly used, will be a challenge.

Another aspect for Harmony OS 2.0 to succeed, is that the features need to be up to date and try to be even one step further. It is unlikely for people to jump onto the wagon of a new operating system if they for sure know that similar or better ones are already out there or even already on their smartphones. That is not a simple task and it has been tried by many other operating systems before, but if China does the first big move, many could follow. However, there has been talk of Harmony OS 2.0 appearing to be remarkably similar to Android, but with different look, which puts me in a position to wonder why people would change to a new operating system while an identical one already exists. Especially iOS users, while they could be eager to try something completely new, an identical copy of Android OS would unlikely make the existing opinions disappear - perhaps the right way would be try out something totally different. 

Miira Vehviläinen
Miira Vehviläinen

ASO Specialist

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