It has been a few days since Huawei hit the news in any major way but that doesn’t mean its battle for survival has stopped. With just a little over a month before the ban takes full effect again, The company may be scrambling to prepare everything it needs on all fronts, from fighting the executive order to defending its position in organizations and alliances to rallying support from key players in the market. Part of the latter seems to involve trying to convince Android app developers to publish their software on its own app store, undoubtedly in preparation for switching away from Google’s.
It’s really no surprise that Huawei would try to do this. In fact, it might have subtly tried to contact app developers before in an effort to populate its ecosystem with more than just the Chinese apps that it’s filled with. The timing and wording, however, makes its true motivation all but suspect.
According to the leaked email shared with XDA, Huawei is presenting the offer as an opportunity for app developers to reach 350 million phones shipped in the last 2 years. Huawei itself does admit that half of those are available in the western market, which means that about 175 million are not. It also boasts of having 560,000 developers already on AppGallery but most of those are probably Chinese developers, too. It also most likely includes developers that have gone silent over the years.
The email comes at a time when Huawei is close to losing its legal ability to ship phones with Google Play, which includes the whole shebang of services, apps, and, of course, Google Play Store. Having those same popular apps available on its AppGallery store will at least help ease the transition. Those apps, however, must be adjusted to take into account that they won’t have facilities like Google Cloud Messaging which they may have been using behind the scenes.
This news does confirm one thing, though. Huawei’s so-called ArkOS will indeed be based on Android if it’s asking developers to simply publish their apps on its own store. Either that or Huawei miraculously developed a compatibility layer between its custom OS and Android apps.