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Opinion: Will Huawei smartphones become the new Lumias?

The P40 Pro comes with the Huawei AppGallery preinstalled
The P40 Pro comes with the Huawei AppGallery preinstalled
The new P40 Pro perfectly illustrates Huawei's crisis in the western markets. It offers a strong hardware package and features what is likely to be the best smartphone camera, but it lacks the blessing of the US government. Microsoft has already tried and failed to create its own platform. Can the Chinese manufacturer do better?

Microsoft has already tried to and miserably failed at creating its own software ecosystem, essentially dooming what used to be the world's biggest phone brand. The software giant's biggest obstacle was not a government but, aside from the collective minds of consumers, a poor execution.

However, Huawei's situation is different. The AppGallery and its underlying ecosystem were not created from scratch and have instead existed for years as a successful software platform in Asia with millions of users. Due to the partnership with Google, fine-tuning it for Western markets has not been necessary in the past. Now that the situation has changed, Huawei has taken some first required steps and won over many game publishers as well as numerous app developers. Still, the local market and the market outside of Asia is primarily ruled by companies from the US. Apart from Google, this also includes Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, Disney, Amazon and many more.

Huawei will most likely be unable to compete with Google outside of Asia

A lot of content currently requires workarounds or simply cannot be consumed on the new Huawei phones, which have been released since the China-United States trade war. Even if an older Netflix app were to find its way to a P40 Pro or Mate 30 Pro via an APK download, HD or HDR would not be available, since the certification of these standards is controlled by a US company: Google. Similarly, mobile payments are handled by US American companies.

It is impossible to predict whether all of the aforementioned parties would release apps for Huawei's AppGallery, even if the trade conflict were to finally be resolved. Since Google would have to open up its DRM certification process to the Chinese for this to happen, this is a very unlikely scenario. If Huawei does not want to be a niche smartphone brand in Europe and the US, the manufacturer will have to renew its partnership with Google. However, this will also require China's mobile market to become more open to western companies.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Opinion: Will Huawei smartphones become the new Lumias?
Daniel Schmidt, 2020-04-12 (Update: 2020-05-19)