Huawei Fights Back
Caught in a situation where it is alienated by the US for its controversial 5G technology, Huawei is far from backing down.
The company is fighting back strategically on two fronts and manner:- Aggressively with its ENTERPRISE arm that is squarely focus to become a AI computing powerhouse and for virtually all hardware infrastructure; and passive reactively, with its CONSUMER arm with the ‘testbed’ launch of the Mate 30 smartphone that is glaringly marked by its lack of Western technology ie. Google apps.
At one side of the globe in Shanghai, Huawei pulled out all the stops to host its annual Huawei CONNECT 2019 event in the most grandeurs manner ever over a three-day period (17-20 Sept). It was flocked by close to 27,000 participants, with the Keynote by Deputy Chairman Ken Hu enjoying a standing-room audience of over 5,000 attendees.
This year’s theme ‘Advance Intelligence’ was strategic and calculated – with every authorised spokesperson driving the same underlying message that ‘Computing’ innovation would be the cornerstone to propel Huawei’s AI ambition.
ATLAS 900 was launched as the world’s ‘fastest AI training cluster’; 43 new clouds services were introduced to accelerate enterprise intelligence; and USD1.5 billion investment has been committed to build an open developer ‘ecosystem’ – the dynamic energy of hundreds of partners descending together to the summit showcases and discussions to address Huawei’s software portion of the ICT equation.
Meanwhile concurrently on the other side of the world in Munich, Germany, Huawei bravely launched its highly anticipated Mate 30 Pro smartphone.
Set to compete against Apple’s most recent iPhone 11 and Samsung’s Galaxy 10, this Huawei’s flagship device will be especially scrutinised as it is a big test for how the world’s largest telco company manoeuvres in a market environment where a world of US-lead hostility bears down on its bid for global smartphone domination.
The Mate 30 runs on open source Google Android, and being both slick and flashy at the same time, the smartphone certainly doesn’t fall short in the looks department. Not to mention its various superior hardware features such as longer battery life and the Leica camera at its back.
However what sticks out most is the glaring lack of Google Playstore and services, and with no pre-installed common apps like Gmail, Google Maps and Youtube.
Earlier while Huawei’s big talk in Shanghai was on advocating Huawei’s lead for a global supply of abundant computing AI power in becoming a top-notch IT hardware provider, at the background there was an unsaid feeling of trepidation counting down to the minute that Mate 30 would be launched in Germany.
Everyone knows that mobile applications are the heart of any smartphone, so with one leg less to stand on – it is definitely a test to see how well Huawei performs independently of Western software technology and its popular mobile applications.
Analysts predict that it will be a struggle to sell Mate 30 and all future Huawei smartphones outside of China, especially in Europe where the company has traditionally been recording good sales.
Mate 30 will be a telling indicative sign on how Huawei’s smartphone business will fare, how much it will being on the US blacklist (including Google smartphone license) affects its CONSUMER business. And it will certainly be a tell-tale sign if Huawei’s fight back will be victorious.
IT Bytes Back Says: While its faced with a foreseeable future without friendly Western partners, Huawei’s huge focus and investments to build a vibrant and open developer ecosystem will come in handy soon. The hope is that very soon, 3rd party mobile applications coming out from collaborative R&D might even be better, in replacing the Google lack gap in its smartphones like Mate 30.