Should or not be “present” on the AppGallery, Huawei’s application store? Since he no longer has access to the Google Play Store due to US sanctions, the Chinese champion is bending over backwards to encourage the most popular applications in Europe to come to his “home” store.
It’s a matter of life and death for Huawei. Its market share has melted like snow in the sun on the Old Continent since its phones no longer automatically include the famous “killer apps” such as Gmail, YouTube or Google Maps.
Officially, the AppGallery is a success. Huawei presents it as the “third largest application store in the world”. 580 million people use it every month in 170 countries, mostly in China.
“2.3 million developers, including 300,000 outside of China, have designed applications for our store,” said Alex Huang, director of marketing for Europe. Huawei also says it has won over 100% of applications of Chinese origin and three quarters of European applications.
But at this point, Western developers are still wary. Certainly, Deezer, Booking, Telegram, Snapchat and Leboncoin are present. But the offer remains very fragmented for a customer accustomed to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
The biggest social networks (Facebook, Twitter…) are missing – you have to search for them manually in the search bar to land on their web page. The SNCF is present, but not the RATP. Société Générale, Crédit Mutuel and La Banque Postale are also there, but with a number of downloads well below the million mark. Ditto for the media.
The problem is economic. For an app publisher, coming to the AppGallery means developing a third app, in addition to those on Android and iOS. The project remains expensive, despite the technical assistance provided by Huawei, a levy on “in-app” expenses of 15% (much less than at Google and Apple) … and technologies that will avoid having to “recode” everything .
“Adding a third app store is no small task. It is likely that publishers will continue to prioritize iOS and Google Play and only add support for the AppGallery when Huawei devices represent a significant share of a key market for their business, ”he explains. -on at AppAnnie.
An uncertain audience
“I have no doubt that creating the app is easy. The problem is maintenance, comments the application development manager of a large French company. Managing three stores means tripling the work of ‘front’ developers to make updates. And for which audience? We are having a hard time getting numbers. And when we look at the data coming back from mobile sites, Huawei hardware users are very much in the minority. “
BlaBlaCar, for its part, first wants to test the enthusiasm of users before working on a more successful application. Another major publisher adds that, since Huawei’s in-app payment system is no longer that of Google’s Play Store, the accounting teams must also be mobilized.
A question of image
“The question developers are asking themselves is really: what will the return on investment be? »Explains Baptiste Michel, CEO and co-founder of BAM, a specialized agency that has designed applications for Renault, Meetic, BNP Paribas and UGC. “For the moment, a minority of our customers have switched, because it is very new. “
Last difficulty for Huawei, the question of the image. While the Chinese giant is caught in the snares of the US administration and must defend itself against accusations of espionage, being a forerunner on the AppGallery can be seen as an implicit act of political support. What the top management don’t want… at no cost.