Huawei says upcoming product launches are “still on track”, talks App Gallery and more
Huawei has told Pocket-lint it is “still on track” with future product launches. In an interview with global chief brand officer Andrew Garrihy, we asked whether the current global situation plus Huawei’s US ban had affected upcoming release schedules.
Garrihy said that obviously he couldn’t go into specifics, but we believe it means we can expect a new Mate 40 series to launch in September or October.
Garrihy also said during our interview that the company was still seeing growth in smartphone sales. “Yes, we’re seeing growth in smartphones and we’re seeing great growth in wearables. We’re number three in tablets. So as countries start to unlock and retail opens again we’re seeing things starting to grow again”
Garrihy adds that in the PC space Huawei is seeing growth figures of over 200 percent over the last year. “We’ve always had a very strong ambition in PC… nothing’s changed in recent times.
“Because of the current crisis, there’s been a much bigger demand for those kinds of products. Where a lot of families were only one laptop families that had to expand… we’ve seen great growth.
Garrihy says that Huawei is working hard on its alternative to Google Mobile Services and the Google Play Store, namely the Huawei Mobile Services and App Gallery.
“This is a brand new ecosystem we only really started to focus heavily on 12 months ago. [Developers have] finite resources, as we all do, so it takes time. But we are making good progress and, in the interim, there are many other ways that users can access a lot of those apps.
“But people are starting to understand the vision, they’re starting to see us grow, they’re starting to see other brands come in. Momentum is building and I’m confident that in the not too distant future, we’ll see it grow even faster.
“The rate of progress is quite amazing. It’s not there yet, we still have a lot of work to do, but it’s very exciting. We’ve got 420 million active users each month, and we’re starting to see real progress in terms of some big names starting to join the ecosystem.”
Big-name apps are coming
Huawei has faced criticism over App Gallery’s lack of big-name apps, something we’ve been regularly assessing on our own Mate 30 Pro. Garrihy says this situation will only improve but it “just takes time.”
- What apps can you actually get on Huawei’s App Gallery?
“Our goal is to get all the top apps, and actually we’ve had great progress in the last couple of months. So you know, if you look at some of the names, we’ve got Booking.com and Skyscanner, we’ve got BBC News and News UK. We’ve got TikTok and Here maps. Even the banks are starting to come in, so we’ve got Santander, Curve, BBVA and more.
“We’re confident – we’re really confident – that we’ll get all the top apps in there. I just can’t give you a timeframe of exactly when.”
But how is Huawei making sure that customers understand that what they’re buying won’t run the Google ecosystem? “We’re spending a lot of effort and time making sure our retail partners and their staff in particular, fully understand [it].
“We want to make sure consumers fully understand that they are buying into a new ecosystem and new experiences. And we’re getting better at that, country by country. And, also, online we go to great lengths to make sure people understand what they’re buying and that it’s a new system, a new ecosystem.”
Finally, we asked how important privacy was to Huawei’s overall product strategy. “Really important,” says Garrihy without hesitation.
“I mean our privacy is precious. And now more than other people around the world are asking more demanding questions of companies about their privacy. This is a great opportunity for us.
“We’ve invested a lot of time in terms of privacy and security both of the chipset, and the operating system at the hardware level and in the cloud.”
- Upcoming phones: The future smartphones of 2020