• Huawei recently launched the new Huawei Y7p in South Africa.
  • The Huawei Y7p, which is an Android device, is also the first phone in South Africa to come with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), Huawei’s new ecosystem.
  • Similar to ios devices, the latest Huawei does not come with Google Play Store but with Huawei’s AppGallery.
  • Here’s what this will mean for Huawei enthusiasts in South Africa.

Having shipped 214 million units in 2019, Huawei is currently the number two smartphone manufacturer in the world, according to global industry analysis firm Counterpoint. Yet, the global telecom has made news headlines for many other reasons the past year.

Caught in the middle of the US-China trade war, Huawei’s future in some countries seemed uncertain but to quote Nietzsche (and Kelly Clarkson if you must), ‘what doesn’t kill you clearly makes you stronger’. Early in March, Huawei unveiled their latest smartphone, the Huawei Y7p, to the South African market. Besides its sleek holographic design, reasonable price, long-lasting battery and triple-camera, the Huawei Y7p is paving the unprecedented way for what many Huawei users have been waiting for: a new ecosystem.

Although the Huawei Y7p will still run on an open source version of Android, it is officially the first phone in South Africa to come with Huawei’s its own app store which is not the Google Play Store

Getting to know the new Huawei ecosystem

Huawei’s new ecosystem, known as Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), has been the talk of tech town since 2019.  Amid restrictions imposed by the United States on Google's trade with Huawei in May 2019, the tech titan quickly made way for its own ecosystem. Some of the services that HMS sports are Huawei Browser, Huawei Mobile Cloud, Huawei Music, Huawei Video and Huawei Assistant.

And of course, the standout feature of the new ecosystem is Huawei’s accompanying new app store called AppGallery. Alongside Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, Huawei’s AppGallery could be sneaking in as one of the top three app marketplaces in the world. To date, AppGallery is available in 170 countries and features apps from 1.3 million developers around the world.

It also has a four-layer detection system to ensure app security. "We place privacy protection and cyber security as the top priorities of all our business operations and strictly implement them in all phases of our products,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, at the launch of the AppGallery.

What this means for your Play Store

The burning question for many Huawei users remains: Will you be able to download Google on the new Huawei Y7p? The short and simple answer is no. Users will luckily be able to install them through an alternative method via third-party app stores.

Speaking at a press briefing in February, Akhram Mohamed, CTO for Consumer Business Group at Huawei South Africa, explained that, although it might have started off that way, Huawei’s strategy with HMS isn’t simply a long-term fix for the Google ban. “This is not just another Android experience, it has to be better than that, and we are also creating unique experiences and customising services for the local market,” he said.

In order to cater to user demands, Huawei is constantly working on increasing the selection of top apps, like Facebook and Instagram, that have become a necessity for a digital lifestyle. If there is an app that users can’t find on AppGallery, they can add it to the ‘Wishlist’, which will notify them once the app is available.

This post was sponsored by Huawei and produced by BrandStudio24.