According to a new report, Huawei could be developing their own virtual assistant geared towards their home market, China. The company, which has experienced huge growth over the past few years has already partnered with Amazon in order to integrate the company’s Alexa into the Huawei Mate 9, though this is exclusively for the US market. The report claims that a team of over 100 employees is hard at work on this new digital assistant, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see it announced sometime later on in the year. With voice assistants becoming increasingly popular recently it’s certainly not an odd move, especially with competitors such as Samsung reported to be developing their own, called Bixby, which is to be released with the Galaxy S8.
Huawei manages to keep costs down by including many of their own hardware components inside their smartphones, so it’s no surprise that the company is now looking into the software side of things. While the assistant is being developed with a focus on the Chinese market, outside of the market Huawei will initially continue to work with the likes of Google and Amazon in order to provide a virtual assistant with their flagship smartphones according to the details. After all, virtual assistants are expected to be popular selling points for this year’s smartphones. By including Google Assistant the Chinese company would be at risk of Google’s product gaining too much traction in the market, something that could then hold themselves back if they decide to launch their own outside of China.
Undeniably, by creating smartphones with many in-house hardware components and by developing exclusive software for their devices, Huawei’s struggle to become the number one smartphone manufacturer worldwide is likely to be reduced. With Mobile World Congress just around the corner, it would make sense to launch Huawei’s 2017 flagships with their own virtual assistant inside. But with the launch so near, it would be a safer bet to expect the inclusion of Amazon’s Alexa in the US market and Google Assistant elsewhere, while the Chinese market could receive an update in the future that would provide users with Huawei’s own assistant.