Actually FirefoxOS pretty much has "crossed the chasm". It's just that that happened after Mozilla abandoned it and KaiOS took it over. They've shipped 100M units.
Weird that a mobile-focused developer site would miss this.
It's true that Huawei open-sourcing HarmonyOS is no guarantee of success, but that's a bit obvious.
Because of these consumer demographics of how they use their apps and what kind of apps they prefer, I don't think it's inconceivable that they can get a big initial customer base in China. In a country of a billion-plus people who also wouldn't mind supporting a home team company, that would be enough to keep HarmonyOS sustainably alive.
Need a thriving app ecosystem? You think they can't convince a number of Chinese app developers to develop for HarmonyOS? Especially the big app developers if the government asks for it?
Yes, there are questions whether HarmonyOS can become an internationally prevalent OS. But that's just a larger definition of success. I would not be surprised to see HarmonyOS become huge in China by itself, at least on par with iOS in terms of Chinese market share, if not better. And if that happens, I cannot see how I would consider HarmonyOS not a success.
I think that's part of what they're talking about when they say these others never crossed the chasm.
And, yes, KaiOS has crossed the chasm, but I don't see:
- that being open source helped with carrier deals and hence adoption, or
- that they've solved the app ecosystem issue
That would mean they could port any web app from IOS or android to Harmony OS as long as there are no native bindings as react native has.
Eventually they can incorporate webassembly when that really gets of the ground.
If it’s good, and Huawei follows up on making it truly open source, I suspect every Chinese manufacturer would at least have a line of Harmony OS phones, because they could always be the next trade war target.
And once the Chinese manufacturers are supporting it, you can also add a huge chunk of the South and South East Asian markets as your customer base as well, since a lot of users in those areas basically just buy the latest Xiaomi or Huawei phones.
Chicken and egg problem.
New devs need users to buy their apps to justify developing for a new platform. The new platform needs a wealth of apps (especially common apps) to get users.
The equivalent situation simply would not and has not happened in China. Instead Tencent and other vendors explicitly run mass surveillance and censorship on behalf of the Chinese government.
The situation in the USA isn't perfect but it's far better than the situation in China. It really bothers me when people fail to make the distinction. And I'm not even American.
Anyway, my point was not primarily meant political, it was more that Huawei has good chances of succeeding with this OS, because they are backed up and supported by the Chinese government. That's true even if you are 100% pro Chinese one-party government.
Or the ones managed by CIA outside American borders to do it more cleanly?
But even someone like me has to admit that the US is closer to a free state than China. Here's why I think that:
- Our court system is constantly in the throes of "freedom" vs. "tyranny" (lots of judges disagree with Citizens United, for example.
- We have a free press that is constantly critical of our president and government.
- I can be critical of our president and government with absolutely no repercussions from my government.
- We give billions in foreign aid.
- We still accept tons of asylum and immigration applications
- In fact many of our cities are "sanctuary cities" for immigrants
- We celebrate the history of Americans who have fought for fundamental freedoms and civil rights
- We are the most diverse nation on the planet, and many of us are intensely proud of it.
- We have free elections.
- Don't @ me about election problems; they're still nothing like the fraudulent elections in Russia/China/etc.
- We actually believe the US is a work in progress, not "perfect as it is" (see: "a more perfect union").
Sure there's a lot of work to do. And I'm sympathetic to the fact that China and Russia face different challenges than we do. But I absolutely refuse to accept the assertion that the US is anywhere near the same point on the authoritarian spectrum as they are. Such comparisons are facile, ignorant, and reinforce a nihilistic vision of Western, classically liberal values that is at the root of the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism -- which is itself responsible for the destruction of many millions of lives across the world. These things are not the same, any more than Democrats and Republicans are the same. One is clearly better than the other, and it is literally a matter of life and death that we figure that out.
Microsoft failure with Windows Phone was partly because even after incentivizing developers, they still could not get a critical mass of apps on their platform. Plus any new apps were not getting WP versions along with Android/iOS.
Huawei is huge, but not outside China, for consumers. Couple that with everyone being wary of their spyware and whatnot. Samsung tried this at some point with Tizen, but quickly gave up, as well.
My thoughts exactly. For the Chinese market everything might work out just fine, as the article says. But for the west, as soon as one or two killer apps won't get ported, it's game over. I think Google never did for Windows phone, which probably did play an important role (among the many other mistakes made. Microsoft didn't exactly make it easy to jump into app development, probably due to arrogance.)
If harmony doesn't get YouTube, Facebook, Spotify or Snapchat, it doesn't matter how great the OS is under the hood.
If Harmony OS is a decent and open OS, I suspect they will all jump onto it.
The only concern may be Google apps, but then, it’s possible that Google may also create Harmony OS supported apps so they can access the Chinese market.
While Windows phone definitely was a very different platform from both IOS and Android, it was still amazing how shoddy some major players' apps ran on it. Stability, performance and features were often lacking. The tools, documentation and lack of sample code was definitely to blame, but even then you still need to learn a new platform.
Indie developers often support only one platform because any more than that is practically infeasible with a small team (n<3) to do if you have a modicum of respect for your clients.
they mean restricting an unofficial say YouTube app
Why get a Huawei when there's Sony, Samsung, LG, and more with the same hardware (still amazed at the A50 - previous gen top end specs at a third of the price) and the familiar and useful software. IIRC Huawei isn't even that friendly to custom ROMs nowadays, even Sony has a free unlock program.