Huawei finds itself with its Android license revoked by Google, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Now, Huawei is courting developers for its new app store called AppGallery. The Chinese OEM is sending emails to app developers from Google Play to request that they join up with Huawei and develop apps for AppGallery.
An email leaked from a Google Play developer wishing to remain anonymous says that Huawei's new app store has 270 million monthly active users and that Huawei is willing to give their full cooperation and assistance to developers wanting to help them in this endeavor.
The company invites certain Play developers to join their team of "560K developers" in the Huawei Developer Portal. AppGallery is to Huawei what Google Play is to Google. The Chinese OEM finds itself having to develop its own OS from scratch (or bring forth the one it claims it's been working on for some months now) in order to prepare for its Android license revocation, effective on August 19.
Google revoked Huawei's Android license when President Donald Trump added Huawei to its Entity List, mandating that all US companies request permission from the Federal Government to do business with Huawei.
With Huawei's Android OS ties soon to disappear, the company has to rebound with an OS of its own. Though Huawei is part of the Tizen Association along with Samsung, it appears that Samsung's exclusive efforts with the OS will remain that way.
Instead, Huawei looks to bring forward its own OS. The company trademarked the name "ARK OS," though some say that the official OS will be called "OAK OS." With the need for an OS comes the need for an app store, since users will want to go to some app store to download apps that work on a given operating system.
This means that AppGallery will be central to Huawei's efforts to convince smartphone users that it has every part in place to transition into this new chapter in its mobile history (the extra-Android era).
As for OAK OS, the new operating system will be effective for smartphone users outside of China. Within Huawei's email to Google Play developers, the Chinese OEM says that "half" of all its 350 million smartphones are sold outside of China. In China, smartphone users don't rely on Google Play apps or Google software, which means that Chinese consumers won't know the difference between the pre-Android era and post-Android era in Huawei's history.
Citizens outside of China, however, rely heavily on Google's take on Android, so non-Chinese Huawei smartphone users will need to have a Google Play Store alternative if Huawei looks to retain business outside the walls of its home country.
Huawei has done well for itself globally, simply by staying within China. Estimates show that Huawei is now the second largest global smartphone manufacturer worldwide, ahead of American giant Apple with its sights set on supplanting Samsung somewhere down the line.
The company has made it clear that it wants to sell smartphones beyond its home country, so much so that its efforts to get its smartphones on sale with US carriers Verizon and AT&T have gone up in smoke.
Currently, the company has 10,000 workers on three different shifts in its factories, hunkered down in their offices until certain mobile goals are achieved. Some employees are working around the clock with little rest in sight.
Google has said that denying Huawei access to Android will hurt US national security, too, but perhaps that's not Google's only motivation behind supporting Huawei. Perhaps Google doesn't want Huawei owning its own OS because that will, in turn, hurt Android sales in countries outside of China.
Should the dust settle between the US and China and a trade treaty is reached, Huawei will have something of a strong OS outside of Android that it can market to consumers instead of Google's Android. And, as with Samsung taking its Android-powered Galaxy smartwatches to Tizen some years ago, the last thing Google wants is its OEMs launching a non-Google OS.
Ultimately, the question comes down to whether or not Huawei will be able to keep its momentum going to have a full-fledged OS in place by August 19. Huawei certainly doesn't have the money that Samsung has, but it may not need it if its determination proves fierce enough.