Huawei is scheduled to release HarmonyOS NEXT on January 18, which represents a significant advancement in the company’s software goals. Unlike HarmonyOS 4, which was built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) as its foundation, HarmonyOS NEXT is entirely based on Huawei‘s proprietary Harmony kernel, which means that it does not support Android compatibility or the direct execution of existing Android apps (APKs).

HarmonyOS Next breaks free from Android

This bold move presents a unique opportunity for Chinese developers: since native apps are now the only language supported by HarmonyOS NEXT, there will be a huge demand for programmers who understand its architecture. As a result, more than 400 software companies from a variety of industries, including games, finance, travel, and navigation, have already jumped on board and developed applications specifically for HarmonyOS NEXT.

HarmonyOS Next breaks free from Android

Furthermore, research firm TechInsights projects that by 2024, HarmonyOS will have overtaken iOS as the second most popular mobile operating system in China as a result of this calculated move, which could pose a serious threat to Android’s hegemony in the nation.

Though the potential is evident, there are still obstacles to overcome. Establishing an app ecosystem from the ground up is no easy task, and gaining widespread app adoption—especially from international players—will be essential to long-term success. That being said, NEXT marks a significant turning point in the company’s journey towards software independence and opens the door for a potentially competitive alternative in the mobile market.

HarmonyOS NEXT: future

  • Independence achieved: Huawei’s latest OS, HarmonyOS NEXT, ditches its Android roots and relies entirely on its own Harmony kernel.
  • No legacy baggage: Existing Android apps (APKs) won’t run on NEXT, demanding native app development.
  • Developer boom: 400+ Chinese companies are already building apps for this new platform, creating job opportunities.
  • Market ambitions: Predictions suggest HarmonyOS NEXT could become China’s #2 mobile OS by 2024, potentially surpassing iOS.
  • Challenges ahead: Attracting global app developers and building a robust app ecosystem remain crucial hurdles.
  • A turning point. This marks a significant step towards Huawei’s software independence and opens doors for a new competitor in the mobile landscape.
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