£20k ‘incentive’ up for grabs if you can get something into the App Gallery before the end of Jan

The embattled Chinese networking gear and mobe slinger used its London Developer Conference on Wednesday to lure coders to its HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) platform as a post-Google world beckoned.

After reminding attendees that it was still number two in the smartphone market, despite the excitement of the previous year, and 50,000 Huawei phones were being activated a week in the UK, the company set about the serious business of encouraging keyboard jockeys to sign up for its developer program.

The company used the London event to announce the launch of 24 Huawei Mobile Services Core Kits aimed squarely at developers.

Despite the antics of the US government, which began issuing executive orders and crackdowns on American exports to the firm in May last year, the company reckoned it is set to become the third largest mobile ecosystem globally, laying claim to 600 million mobile active users over 170 countries. The UK alone accounts for 4 million of those.

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A good chunk of users, of course, are still happily using Google’s services on their shiny Huawei device. Many shipped with both the Play Store and Huawei’s App Gallery – although more recent machines have lost access to the wares of the Chocolate Factory.

While Huawei happily trotted out the usual promises that developers have heard oh so many times before regarding app discovery and retention of customers, it also put its money where its mouth with the chance to claim a £20,000 financial incentive for any app uploaded to the company’s App Gallery before 31 January 2020.

The company is also spanking £20m on an investment plan to promote UK and Irish developers working on HMS and intending to join the App Gallery.

So dust off that “Hello Shenzhen” er, “Hello World” app, kids. Right?

Not so fast. Developers hoping to trouser £20,000 of sweet, sweet Huawei readies should be aware the company intends to dispense its largesse in the likes of “promotional activity” and apply a variety of measures to pick the lucky app, including download and demand metrics.

Still, trumpeting that “we are not an ad company”, Huawei has come out with guns blazing. Over 1.3 million developers have been signed up so far and over 50,000 apps have been integrated with the good ship HMS Core. The App Gallery also laid claim to 180 billion downloads last year.

The ecosystem is also festooned with first party applications for the likes of video and cloud storage (assuming you trust Huawei to keep your data safe and sound.)

The figures are, however, unlikely to trouble Apple and Google, both of which number the content of their respective stores in the millions. For its part, Huawei pointed to the saturation of apps in stores (citing the Google Play Store in particular), and highlighted the difficulty and expense in getting noticed.

“We make the alternative market interesting,” a representative said.

The announcement comes a day after Windows giant Microsoft finally pulled the plug on its own attempt at a third ecosystem in the form of Windows 10 Mobile, which infamously ended in failure. The difference this time is that Huawei claims 100 per cent Android compatibility. ®

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