With just over three decades behind him, Huawei is experiencing a sweet 2020 . Who was going to say it not many months ago with the Google veto and what this has meant for their mobile phones and tablets, preventing the terminals from bringing Google’s mobile services, known as GMS, pre-installed.
This blow would have sunk more than one company and, although it has been noticed in different countries, the truth is that we have seen how a reinforced Huawei accelerated the development of its own operating system ( HarmonyOS ) and began to draw up plans with application companies to nurture its AppGallery -the store that wants to be the competition of the PlayStore-, in addition to reinforcing its strategy in China, a market in which it has grown in 2020 compared to last year and which has allowed the company to take first place in global mobile sales.
In the West, the sales of its mobiles have decreased, but that beastly performance in China, together with a COVID-19 that has hit other manufacturers hard (causing South Koreans to sell 30% less devices), has boosted Huawei. as the first mobile seller worldwide , with 55.8 million units sold, which is said soon.
If we go to other sectors and focus on Spain , we see a firm that has sold 175% more laptops than in the same period last year. This can be explained by the increase in teleworking, but also by the good work of some teams that have a great quality / price ratio.
Now, although in device sales it seems that Huawei is shooting things , there are other sectors in which they are specialists and where they are finding more obstacles. The company is one of the leaders in the development and deployment of 5G networks and, precisely, that is the reason for Trump’s veto and that other countries are looking closely at Huawei.
Networks are fundamental for both Huawei at a commercial level and for the company to give life to its vision of the ecosystem of interconnected devices, its 1 + 8 + N strategy .
1 + 8 + N, a global strategy with mobile as the center of experience
At CES 2020 in Las Vegas (which, by the way, will take place online in 2021 ), Huawei presented this curious mathematical formula ( 1 + 8 + N ) that is really quite simple.
What is 1 + 8 + N ? It means the following:
- “1” is the smartphone : it is the center of the user’s digital life and, really, as a device that we always carry with us and that is connected to the network almost permanently, it is the best to be the center of an ecosystem.
- “8” represents eight categories of smart devices that many of us already have in our daily lives such as wearables, PCs, headphones, smart glasses, headphones, cars, tablets and televisions.
- “N” is an exponent, since it is basically a universe of IoT devices (Internet of Things) that we have on a daily basis such as smart scales, smart appliances, projectors, cameras, video game systems, etc.
Those are the devices, but … how do they communicate? In a recent presentation by Huawei, the team elaborated on the experience and its plans. They are trying to make a huge ecosystem in which, as we say, the mobile is the center of the experience. Huawei Share technology will be used to connect with the other smart devices .
We have already seen this technology in the laptops of the Chinese company and, for example, what allows is to link the mobile and the laptop via NFC to pair them, and thus control the phone from Windows 10, as if it were a window of a application more. On the other hand, the ‘1 + 8’ devices will be connected to ‘N’ through a 4G / 5G connection thanks to HiLink technology .
Thus, we connect with modules, repeaters or the router, which is already linked with IoT devices . You may be thinking that this is something that we can already do with a Samsung Galaxy (for example), a Windows 10 laptop, our router and a Xiaomi light bulb, but the negative point is that we need several applications to have that experience from all connected devices. .
What Huawei is looking for is that we do not have 7 apps installed (it is not a random number, it is what I have between IoT devices and proprietary systems), but that we control everything much easier with the smartphone. In short, Huawei wants to revolutionize the user experience and the interconnection between any device that we have at home that has an internet connection.
And this is not something that is only possible with Huawei devices, since the company has started a network of deals with third parties to unite devices to its ecosystem. That’s where an open platform like HiLink comes in.
Harmony continues its course and is being developed as a platform adapted to each team and requirement
Now, Huawei is not only developing this ecosystem, but also HarmonyOS . We have talked at length about this system, which is basically the Chinese company’s response to Google’s veto. It’s something that had been developing in Huawei’s R&D department for years, but with Google’s veto and the impossibility of using GMS, Huawei accelerated the process … and they also launched their App Gallery store to receive more support of western companies with some of the most used apps in our territory.
Of course, Harmony is not being developed as a mobile system . Huawei intends to bring Harmony to all its systems, from mobiles to laptops, televisions, tablets and any device with a screen that they launch. It is something very ambitious and, in fact, we can only think of the example of Google with Android Auto, Android for mobiles / tablets, its Chromebooks, Android Wear and Android TV.
With that example in mind, during the Huawei 1 + 8 + N presentation we asked if, when Harmony is fully deployed, will it offer an individual and unique experience on each of the platforms or if we will have something more unified. We can easily interconnect an Android TV with an Android tablet, but in the end each one has its interface and they are still different platforms that need a learning period.
From Huawei they assured us that the idea is to create a unified experience that takes advantage of all devices. Not only will they adapt the interface of the mobile to the television, for example, but they are developing a design that fits perfectly with each device.
We will see if they succeed and, above all, when we will see it on the market . And, although Huawei is investing a lot in the evolution of Harmony, it is not easy to create something from scratch, especially when you are so ambitious.
As we know, HarmonyOS has been in development since 2017 and its process was accelerated in May 2019, but it seems that they still do not have something firm to launch. According to the route time presented by Huawei a few months ago, Harmony was going to launch this year for PC. We will see if at the end of the year a laptop appears in China that ‘passes’ Windows to bet on its system.
A product with HarmonyOS (version 1.1) is Huawei Vision, a spectacular OLED TV that has not made the leap to the west … for now.
Within the multimedia ecosystem, we will have to keep waiting for the launch of a rival for the Chromecast or the Mi TV Stick
Little by little, the Huawei ecosystem in the west is growing thanks to its devices and services (AppGallery is gradually adding allies), but there is something we are missing. Recently, Xiaomi has launched its Mi TV Stick, the response to Chromecast and the Mi TV Stick, and taking advantage of the opportunity, we asked if they plan to launch a device in the West to convert any television into a SmartTV .
It is something that fits perfectly with the 1 + 8 + N philosophy, but unfortunately the company has no plans for such a launch in our territory .
Now, it only remains to see when we can enjoy that unified experience thanks to HarmonyOS and devices such as the Huawei Vision TV in Europe.