Huawei prepares AI-driven device strategies and innovation for growth

Huawei has indicated that its innovative strategies will ensure a strong presence in the global devices markets despite facing challenges due to issues from the United States.

Harmony OS market share

Richard Yu, chairman of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, has highlighted several points including the success of Hamorny OS, growth in demand for smartphones and the launch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for its devices.

Richard Yu said the company’s Harmony operating system is now available on more than 900 million devices.

“Harmony has made major breakthroughs. You can say in 10 years we’ve achieved what it took our European and American counterparts more than 30 years to do, in terms of building the core technology of an independent operating system,” Richard Yu said at the opening of a three-day Huawei developer conference in the Chinese city of Dongguan.

Smartphone growth

Analysts at Canalys said Canalys said Huawei returned to the top spot in Q1 2024 in the smartphone market. Huawei shipped 11.7 million smartphones capturing a 17 percent market share. Huawei experienced strong demand for its Mate and nova series. As the result, Hamorny OS achieved 17 percent market share.

Huawei share in high-end smartphone market

HarmonyOS

Huawei launched its own operating system HarmonyOS in 2019, when U.S. technology restrictions cut it off from Google support for the Android operating system it used in smartphones, Reuters news report said.

With the expansion of the HarmonyOS ecosystem, Huawei emerges as the third OS for smartphones and other edge computing devices, breaking the dominance of Google Android and Apple iOS in Mainland China, analysts at Canalys said.

In the first quarter of 2024, Huawei’s HarmonyOS surpassed Apple’s iOS to become the second best-selling mobile operating system in China behind Android with a 17 percent market share, research firm Counterpoint said.

Artificial Intelligence

According to Canalys’s latest forecast, AI-capable smartphones are projected to comprise 9 percent of total shipments in 2024, rapidly increasing to 54 percent by 2028.

The company’s Ascend artificial intelligence infrastructure – the most powerful from a Chinese company – was now the second most popular after Nvidia, which dominates the market for AI chips.

Analysts at Canalys said a key strategy for Huawei in 2024 is to focus on building AI capabilities for smart devices from hardware to software at a system level, leveraging its R&D capabilities in AI infrastructure and solutions for industry and enterprise customers.

China-based Huawei has reported total revenue of $99.448 billion or CNY704.174 billion in 2023. Huawei’s revenue from consumer business was CNY 251.496 billion. In 2023, Huawei’s R&D spending reached CNY164.7 billion, representing 23.4 percent of total revenue.

According to Canalys data, in 2023, for every hundred Huawei smartphones shipped, it also shipped 48 wearable bands, 27 smart personal audio devices, 23 tablets and 14 notebooks. The user base of Huawei devices in Mainland China will allow Huawei to develop a profound understanding of user behavior, which will enable it to create differentiated and personalized native AI services.

What’s Next

At the Huawei Analyst Summit 2024, Huawei earlier signaled the launch of its next-generation mobile OS, HarmonyOS NEXT. Analysts indicate that HarmonyOS NEXT will also be its first OS not compatible with Android apps. Most mainstream apps in Mainland China are already compatible with the new OS or are being developed.

Huawei plans to launch its latest flagship smartphones in Mainland China in the second half of the year. HarmonyOS NEXT will come with AI capabilities at a system level, differentiating it from the application-level AI features.

Huawei will accelerate the penetration of AI services with the expansion of HarmonyOS NEXT due to its brand strength, friendly developer ecosystem and policy environment in its domestic market. PanguLM has found widespread use across various industries, including meteorology, finance, networking and electricity.

Baburajan Kizhakedath

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