Honor could be breakthrough for Huawei’s HarmonyOS: analyst
Published: Jun 14, 2021 07:48 PM
Huawei Honor 9X unveiling ceremony in July, 2019 Photo: Xinhua

Honor 9X unveiling ceremony in July, 2019 Photo: Xinhua

Honor is set to launch its first flagship smartphone 50 series since its separation from Huawei on Wednesday. The new handsets - with chips from Qualcomm back in place - have already attracted 1.1 million online reservations.

As the only smartphone brand that's been officially included in the upgrade list of Huawei's self-developed HarmonyOS, as its older products were previously part of Huawei's consumer group, this may also serve as a starting point for the wider application of the HarmonyOS, analysts said.

According to media reports, the flagship will be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 778G processor, feature 100W fast charging, and come with a "hypercurved screen." Images released by Honor, which focus on the rear of the phone, show a design with circular camera bumps.

Market response has been enthusiastic. The total number of reservations for the Honor 50 series on domestic e-commerce news site and Honor Mall has reached 1.12 million, a report from said on Monday.

Since its split from Huawei, which is still struggling with the US chip ban, Honor has resumed cooperation with all suppliers, including Qualcomm, Micron, MediaTek, Samsung, Microsoft and Intel, the company confirmed with the Global Times in January. It has also recently denied media reports saying it had not received authorization from Google's Android. 

Honor CEO Zhao Ming said in an interview in May that April was the darkest moment for Honor, and it would gradually recover from May. Starting from June, Honor's chip supply would be fully restored, Zhao said at the time.

 Zhao also said that Honor's market share fell to 3 percent at its lowest point but recovered to 8 percent in May.

Honor's rise will be surely a boon for the HarmonyOS, since increasing market share also means Harmony will have more potential users, Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Monday.

The development of the HarmonyOS, especially in terms of consumers' feedback, was already better than expected during recent days, Xiang added.

Huawei officially launched the 2.0 version of the HarmonyOS for smartphones on June 2, in its latest bid to shrug off the US' crackdown, but major Chinese smartphone makers have been silent so far on whether they will adopt the OS.

Apart from Huawei's own phones, which started to upgrade the system from June 2, some models under Honor, mostly old models, will be able to use the OS starting from the fourth quarter of this year, Huawei announced by then.

New series, including the Honor 50 series was also absent from the first batch of upgrade list.

Xiang cautioned that a delayed application for new series means Honor is still awaiting for the market response to decide whether it will finally adopt the OS. It's also possible that the Honor will stick to Android if Harmony underperforms. 

But if Harmony could be quickly accepted by consumers, as the first batch of smartphone makers to use the OS, Honor can also gain a firm foothold in the very competitive domestic smartphone market, said the analyst.

Global Times