Huawei does not give up: Even without Google services, the group wants to bring new top smartphones to the German market this year, including a foldable device. Even the manufacturer sees that the Huawei Mate Xs will not find many customers in this country. Why is Huawei doing this?
Despite the Cancellation of the Mobile World Congress Huawei launched its new products in Barcelona on Monday. The keynote was broadcast live. In Berlin, journalists also had the opportunity to examine and try out the new products up close.
The new Huawei Mate Xs can do that
Particular attention was paid to the Huawei Mate Xs, a new foldable smartphone that is also to be available on the European market for the first time. The previous model could only be bought in China.
Photo series with 13 pictures
According to Huawei, the folding mechanism and the stability of the device have been improved. Unlike competing models like the Samsung Galaxy Fold (here is the test report) the display on the Huawei Mate Xs is not folded inwards but outwards. A clearly visible protective film should prevent damage and scratches – and like the Galaxy Fold, it must never be unwound.
Display, battery, camera
A button on the back makes the hinge open and the back folds forward. The smartphone is transformed into a tablet-like device with an 8-inch screen size (approx. 20 cm) and an almost square 4: 3 format. When folded, the foldable is almost as thick as a finger. There is a fingerprint sensor integrated into the on / off button on the side.
Photo series with 25 pictures
The camera is located on the back of the Mate Xs, and only there. To take selfies, the user has to open the device, activate the camera app, close the device again and turn it over. It is triggered with a button on the side. All in all, it’s a bit cumbersome.
You can find further specifications in the photo show.
Google Apps issues
The Huawei Mate Xs will go on sale in mid-March for 2,499 euros and will only be available in selected flagship stores. “Because of the high costs, it is not a device for the mass market,” Huawei head of Germany William Tian admits in an interview with t-online.de. The main target group are business people.
On March 26, Huawei wants to present its next top device for the mass market, the Huawei P40 Pro, in Paris. Until then, the problem with the missing apps and Google services should be eliminated, Tian promises. He was confident that by the launch date, almost all apps popular in Germany would also be available in Huawei’s App Gallery.
WhatsApp and Facebook can be used
Since last year, Huawei has no longer been able to offer its new devices with Google services due to US trade restrictions. As a result, both the Play Store and popular apps such as YouTube, GMail or Google Maps are missing on Android smartphones. Last warned Google explicitly even before thatto download the apps from a source other than the official Play Store.
Huawei is looking for alternative solutions. For example, anyone looking for WhatsApp or Facebook in the Huawei App Store will be automatically redirected to an official download page of the Facebook group. “We are offering our customers a safe and legal way to use their favorite apps on a new Huawei smartphone,” says Tian.
Attack on Apple and Google
In the long term, Huawei wants to position its own platform called Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) as an alternative to the systems from Google and Apple. The goal is to create an ecosystem that is “more open, secure and innovative” than that of the US giants, says Tian. It is an advantage that Huawei can offer hardware and software from a single source and can coordinate perfectly.
Huawei plans to invest a total of three billion US dollars in its extremely ambitious project. App development alone is to be funded with a billion dollars. Of this, $ 25 million will benefit the German developer scene, says Tian.
As an added incentive, Huawei promises that developers will be able to keep 100 percent of their app revenue in the first year, while Google and Apple take their share of the cake. For example, if you want to program apps for the iPhone or iPad, you have to squeeze 30 percent of your earnings into Apple – a fact that is already driving companies like Spotify onto the barricades.
This is how Huawei wants to convince the users
Nevertheless: Without the appropriate customers, it will be difficult to establish Huawei’s App Store as an attractive marketplace. According to company information, the App Gallery has 1.3 million registered developers worldwide and 400 million monthly active users. Only 28 million of them live in Europe. With servers in Europe, on-device data processing and allegedly EU-compliant data protection regulations, Huawei campaigns for the trust of consumers who have previously entrusted their data to Apple or Google.
Should Huawei actually succeed in establishing a third, strong alternative to Apple and Google on the market for mobile operating systems, that would be no less than a sensation. So far, all attempts to break up the duopoly have failed miserably.
And Huawei also prefers to keep a back door open: Officially, the company does not yet completely rule out a return to Google services. But that also shows: Huawei is far from willing to give up its number three status in the smartphone market, but will fight for it – whatever the cost.