The lack of access to Google apps will make buying a Huawei phone an “issue” for many, an industry expert has said.
Speaking after Huawei announced its new foldable Mate Xs phone, Thomas Husson, principal analyst at Forrester’s, said Huawei’s attempts to grow its own app ecosystem would take time.
He said “2020 will be a pivotal year for Huawei”.
He went on: “The lack of Google Mobile Services – and more specifically of the Google Play Store and Google Maps, YouTube or Gmail – will become an issue for many European consumers to buy a Huawei smartphone.
“Huawei Mobile Services and AppGallery to be launched on new Honor devices and on forthcoming P40 Huawei smartphones will struggle to become a serious alternative in 2020.
“It requires several years to truly build an app ecosystem with brands, developers and publishers.”
Google has warned people not to manually install apps from other sources on to new Huawei phones which do not come with Google services available on them, because it could not guarantee they had not been altered or tampered with.
Mr Husson said he also did not expect the Mate Xs – Huawei’s second foldable device – to sell in large numbers due to its £2,299 price tag.
“The launch of the new Mate Xs will remain a niche innovation since foldable smart devices are still very expensive and do not really offer new differentiated consumer experiences,” he said.
In terms of foldable phones available in the UK, the Mate Xs follows Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip, and the recently launched Motorola Razr.