Empire Elements was invited by Huawei to be part of the first ever Huawei conference in the UK and witness the unveiling of their app ecosystem and future development.
The Chinese tech giant is mostly known for its mobile phone range, but they offer smartwatches, laptops and even cloud computing services and AI. Huawei has 600 million active users in 170 countries. In the UK Huawei activates 50,000 mobile phones every week. Huawei sold 240 mil phones in 2019 alone, and it is the third most popular mobile vendor in Europe with 18% market share. In many European countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Huawei is the second popular phone manufacturer with 23% market share. In Poland, this share is even higher, at 31%.
2019 has been a challenging year for Huawei, with US trade ban in place, and the Chinese giant is fighting back with their digital vision and series of mobile services. Huawei understands that the critical component to their success is the developers and apps.
New devices like the upcoming Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro are not using Google services like the Play Store. Huawei’s strategy route to western markets is to develop HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) and cut the reliance on Android and Google’s Play Store.
At the Huawei Developer Day London on 15th January 2020, Huawei UK MD Anson Zhang said that some 55 thousand developers have already signed up. To make it sweeter, Huawei is investing $26 million to build up an app store for its flagship phones, enticing the British and the Irish app developers to create apps for its own Huawei App Gallery.
Current Huawei phones can still run Android and customers download apps from the Play Store, but future devices will rely on the Huawei App Gallery as it’s called. Huawei needs apps in the App Gallery fast! The UK investment is only a part of broader, $3 billion total investment strategy. The App Gallery attracts 400 million users already.
Developers can claim up to £20,000 for their apps uploaded to the Huawei Gallery by the end of January 2020.
Some major companies like Amazon, Snapchat, TikTok and Fortnite have their apps in the Huawei App Gallery already. That’s quite understandable since Huawei owns over 40% of the Chinese market. That’s very attractive to western developers trying to expand to the Chinese mobile market.
Huawei’s vision of mobile experience is also a bit different. We’ve seen a demonstration of intelligent contextualisation, that’s linking apps together to offer more personalised user experience. For example, travelling through Europe would allow app developers to create cards for their apps and enable the customer to book flight, hotel and taxi from a single screen.
There is no doubt; mobile technology is entering a new decade and a new era. And we will only now start to see the challenges ahead and impact of mobile tech on our lives. Huawei is going to be part of that future and play a significant role.