In a recent announcement, Huawei unveiled its much-anticipated HarmonyOS Next for developers, signaling a major shift in its operating system landscape. Notably, a significant change accompanies this rollout, as HarmonyOS Next will no longer support apk files, which are essential for running Android apps. Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei, generated a wave of confusion among Huawei device owners globally when he hinted at the imminent release of the new OS for end-users.
However, clarifications from the company were swift, emphasizing that overseas units would not receive the HarmonyOS update. Instead, Huawei’s mobile phones and tablets in global markets will continue to operate on EMUI, a HarmonyOS lookalike. EMUI, essentially an Android Open Source Project without Google branding and apps, will retain support for apk files.
Despite this divergence, Huawei remains committed to supporting developers worldwide, according to China Mobile. The company has fostered a substantial community of app developers dedicated to ensuring the seamless functionality of Android apps from third-party stores on Huawei devices devoid of Google services.
In multiple interactions with the GSMArena team, Huawei executives, both on and off the record, have reassured users that support for phones and tablets in global markets will persist. The company asserts its position as a significant player in both software and hardware for mobile phones on a global scale.
Huawei has also officially confirmed its continued use of the Emotion UI (EMUI) branding for overseas devices. This decision will persist until the company is thoroughly confident that its customer base is ready to embrace the transition to Huawei HarmonyOS Next. This strategic approach indicates Huawei’s commitment to a gradual and user-friendly migration, ensuring a smooth experience for its diverse global audience.
Source (in Chinese)