“our strategy is survival”

Huawei has been in a bad place since the 2019 US embargo which prevents it from accessing Google services. On the occasion of the release of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, we come back with William Tian, ​​brand manager for Western Europe on the challenges ahead: the App Gallery and its lack of diversity or even group difficulties.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro // Source: Huawei

During IFA 2022, we caught up with Huawei’s head of Western Europe, William Tian. Faced with the difficulties encountered by the brand, particularly in its smartphone branch, following the American embargo of 2019, we wanted to come back to various subjects with him. The operation of the App Gallery and the difficulties of the group are on the program.

The App Gallery problem

Even today, it remains difficult to install all the applications you want on the brand’s smartphones and tablets (we proved it with the Huawei MatePad Pro 2022). For those who have not followed this closely, let’s say that Huawei continues to sell Android phones, but deprived of the Play Store. Instead, the brand integrates an in-house application store called App Gallery, where many still struggle to function properly.

A situation that pushes us to not be able to recommend their products most of the time. A priori, Huawei, from what William Tian tells us, is not unhappy with its App Gallery:

“We developed our application gallery very quickly. Most applications are available, we have worked very hard with our content providers, including in France. We implemented Petal Search to provide more choices, few apps can’t be found on App Gallery. » Let’s be clear, this is not the case. There are still a lot of applications missing to be able to recommend a Huawei smartphone to our readers today in our eyes.

The app grid of the Huawei Watch GT 3
The application grid of the Huawei Watch GT 3 // Source: Frandroid

We then asked William Tian if he still wanted to improve the App Gallery and if he was happy with the fact that its users have to go through a browser to find their apps. His answer is more pirouette than anyone else has chosen:

The French are known to love freedom. If you go through Petal Search, you will have more freedom (laughs)

We can laugh about it, but what this declaration betrays is above all that the group has no desire to radically improve the experience on smartphones, confining itself to declaring “Working with content providers to bring their apps to the App Gallery. » In short, ” we are working on it “.

Come back in two or three years

Several Huawei executives have called 2021 a year of resilience. For 2022, we are passing another milestone in the difficulties for Huawei. William Tian asserts that for 2022, “ our strategy is survival and preparing for the future “. He adds : “2022 is a very difficult year for everyone, including Huawei. We are facing many challenges due to declining consumption, high inflation and rising costs. »

Asked about the reasons for Huawei’s revenue drop, William Tian clarifies the reason for this loss of form: “The entire decline was enhanced by the smartphone business. 2019, we started to accelerate the diversification of our portfolio, we have tablets, wearables, PCs, monitors… All these activities have since been growing very quickly. “During our meeting, the manager said that many investments have been made in the direction of connected health in particular, with the creation of a gigantic research center dedicated to this universe, without unfortunately being able to specify the amounts.

In this diversification strategy, we could therefore say that smartphones no longer have their place and do not understand that Huawei is bent on continuing to get out of the model. It must be understood that from Huawei’s point of view, these devices, even if they do not sell, retain value. Some Huawei officials who wish to remain anonymous have explained to us that the objective behind the release of a Mate 50 Pro is mainly to “keep in touch with the many fans of the brand”in France. In short, do not fall into oblivion. These same executives admit that the objective for the firm is“to return to smartphones within two or three years”around. Way to say that she is no longer really present on the segment for the moment, if anyone still doubted it.

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