On the global market, how does Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) compete with Google Mobile Services (GMS)?

Google Mobile Services, or GMS, is the world’s largest mobile ecosystem, and every Android-powered smartphone must use it. Meanwhile, the Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) is new, and it presently only supports Huawei smart devices. The HMS platform, on the other hand, is fast expanding, but how will it compete with GMS for developers?
Let’s have a look…

Understanding the Android ecosystem from the ground up

The Android operating system is divided into two components. The first is the open-source platform (AOSP) code library, which serves as the operating system’s foundation. It comes with the Linux kernel, virtual machines, and some basic user interfaces like notification panels, themes, and settings, among other things.
The Google Mobile Services (GMS), which is not open source, is the other component of Android. Although Google claims that the GMS suite is free, the actual cost of device verification is roughly $0.75, which is already factored into the entire price of the Android phone when you buy it.

GMS offers a variety of services. It contains a huge variety of APIs for third-party applications, in addition to some fundamental ones. GMS is used for a variety of activities, including account verification messages, message push, location service, and other services.

Additionally, the GMS APIs assist developers in swiftly developing applications. As a result, most of the apps we use on Android smartphones are built on GMS, and they would not be able to run without GMS’ proprietary non-open API.

GMS is used by third-party devices in four main ways:

AOSP and the GMS are both used.

The first way involves combining the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) and the GMS. This is the most prevalent method, and it is used by Samsung, Xiaomi, HTC, LG, and other OEMs. The AOSP and GMS approach is superior, as it ensures compatibility with all third-party applications.

This does not require third parties to utilize solely GMS-provided applications; they can still use their own apps to stay up with GMS apps.

Ignore the GMS completely.

In the second term, OEMs can completely ignore the GMS and use their own app stores and mobile services, as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and other phone manufacturers have done. This, however, only applied in China. Except for Huawei, all Chinese phone manufacturers release devices that use AOSP and GMS.

Huawei has even launched its own mobile services, dubbed HMS (Huawei Mobile Service). However, because third-party apps cannot run normally on these services, they may result in a poor user experience.

Only using AOSP and some fundamental functions of GMS

Another option to use GMS is to use AOSP and replace GMS with a basic function that is similar to GMS API. However, no other corporation considers this way, and Amazon is the closest to using it.

Some AOSP libraries are included in the Huawei operating system.

Huawei’s HarmonyOS has chosen the fourth approach. AOSP’s fundamental services, including as hardware and telephone support, were initially employed by the Chinese tech giant.

Huawei launched HarmonyOS with the goal of creating its own mobile app ecosystem in China, however it lacks some key features for the worldwide market.

The HMS and HarmonyOS were created by the Chinese tech giant to totally replace the GMS, but it is difficult to achieve success in the worldwide market without supporting Android apps. That’s why, until a native HarmonyOS app ecosystem emerges, Huawei needs to add APK support to this new OS to support existing HMS apps.

What is the HMS’s global commercial potential?

Huawei has been making every effort to improve the HMS and the HarmonyOS. However, competing in a fully built ecosystem is challenging, and most users are now accustomed to it. To put it another way, the company must provide more than its competitors.

The developers also aim to adopt GMS and are concerned about HMS’s small user base in comparison to GMS. Users need a compelling incentive to migrate to the HMS, which remains an issue. They could also choose to stay on GMS. However, the corporation should provide more clarification and take initiatives to increase awareness of the HMS platform.

When it comes to efforts, Huawei has just lately begun to promote its own mobile service in the global market. To encourage developers, the business recently held the HMS Global Application Innovation Competition – “Apps UP.”

As a prize, the event offered a large sum of money – $1 million USD. The number of developers has surpassed 4 million in the first half of 2021, with 134,000 applications.
Huawei still has a long way to go in terms of closing the gap between data and GMS. While it appears that the corporation has already made the decision to go it alone. It has provided developers with simple and uncomplicated processes and resources for switching from GMS to HMS.

Janidu Teshan
Author: Janidu Teshan


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