(Yicai Global) March 27 -- China's Huawei Technologies has released P40, its flagship series of fifth-generation wireless network handsets, while vying for more developers to create applications in synch with its homegrown operating system.
"This is a mobile phone series that can capture the moon," said Yu Chengdong, head of Huawei's consumer business group, said in an online press conference yesterday. The three models' minimum prices range from EUR799 to EUR1,399 overseas (USD884 up). The Shenzhen-based firm also released other smart gadgets, including watches and speakers.
The telecoms giant has had to quickly build its own OS after being placed in the US Entity List last year, which came to halt its access to the Google suite of apps such as Maps, Gmail, and Chrome. Therefore, P40 buyers will be not be using Google Mobile Services but Huawei Mobile Services.
"The success of HMS will determine Huawei's overall performance in 2020," Jia Mo, analyst at market research firm Canalys, told Yicai Global. Huawei needs to work hard to get developers on board and to gain full market recognition, Jia added.
"Over the past decade, we have been using Google's GMS, which has brought huge profits to US manufacturers," said Yu. "But since last year, new Huawei phones have no way of continuing to use GSM." Still, the Chinese firm would like to continue working with Google, he added.
Huawei has sought to encourage more developers to create HMS apps by promising that they can keep 90 percent of accrued ad revenues this year. The rate would be 80 percent next year, and 70 percent in 2022. Huawei currently has more than 1.3 million registered developers worldwide and HMS Core, its equivalent to Google Play Services, tallies more than 55,000 apps.
Huawei is looking to serve P40 users with localized app recommendations, Yu said. More than 400 million people use Huawei's apps every month, according to data from the firm. Its video platform has been launched in 26 countries and regions and its music service in more than 100 countries and regions.
Last year, Huawei boosted its revenue by 18 percent to CNY850 billion (USD120.4 billion) from 2018. Its smartphone shipments rose by 17 percent to 240 million units. By the end of February, Huawei's cumulative shipments of 5G handsets had exceeded 10 million units.
Editor: Tang Shihua, Emmi Laine