Huawei deputy chairman Guo Ping (pictured) went to great lengths to highlight the vendor’s credentials as an outlet for app developers, arguing 5G offers a chance to build a whole new ecosystem.
The vendor is seeking to build its own suite of apps and software for its HarmonyOS and Huawei Mobile Services app store platform, as it seeks to mitigate the impact of losing access to Google’s Android platform due to a US trade ban implemented in May.
Devices which were already in development prior to the block were largely omitted from the restriction due to temporary reprieves, however Huawei stepped up development of its platform to offset the future impact.
Its Mate 30 flagship, launched in September, was the first model not to have access to the full suite of Google apps and services, and there are doubts over Huawei’s ability to attract enough developers to challenge the dominance of Google or Apple with its home-grown platform and so maintain its leading position in the global smartphone market.
While not referencing this directly, Guo used his keynote to highlight the benefits of partnering with Huawei to develop a new ecosystem in the 5G era. Historically, he noted, app developers typically gained the lion’s share of the profits from a market worth trillions of US dollars, adding 5G is “a golden opportunity for our entire industry”.
Guo claimed that applications and software are what generate true value and the biggest winners will be Huawei’s partners.
The executive emphasised Huawei had worked closely with developers over the last five years, stating it already had 1.3 million on board and planned to pump $1.5 billion into its developer programme in a bid to increase the number to 5 million.
It is also investing $1 billion in its Shining-Star developer engagement programme to attract a wider range of high-quality apps to its mobile services ecosystem.
“Huawei looks forward to working with industry developers and start-ups to create more applications”, he noted.
Guo played up Huawei’s 30-year working relationship with global operators, noting this enabled app and software developers to “fully unleash their potential”.
In the age of 5G, the vendor will “continue to enable app developers and drive the entire industry forward, he said, noting the combination of the next-generation mobile networks with other technologies represents the “new electricity”, which can be applied to all industries. “It will be the key enabler of the smart world.”
Commercial network deployments are going much faster than expected, he said, with 40 networks in more than 20 countries already launched and an additional 20 networks scheduled to be deployed by the end of the year.