26 March 2020
Ever since Huawei became a part of the unwanted U.S Entity list, it has been looking for alternatives to make up for the lost access to Google Play Store, apps, and services. This is the reason it is heavily promoting its own app store called AppGallery which it recently claimed to be the third-largest in the world. And now, a new ET report claims that Huawei is in talks with IndusOS creator OSLabs about the use of its app store AppBazaar on devices in India.
AppBazaar is the native app store of IndusOS that features over 400,000 apps available in 12 Indian regional languages. The latter part is what makes it unique as it is easily accessible for users who are not well-versed with English or Hindi. Huawei is said to be hoping to leverage AppBazaar's reach and features to make up for no Google apps and services on Huawei and Honor devices in the country. The deal is currently limited to India but both parties are said to be open about the possibility of a global expansion in the future.
The report does not mention the exact outcome of the deal between Huawei and OSLabs. It is hard to say whether Huawei will implement AppBazaar on its devices as it is or it will integrate its offerings within its own AppGallery app store. The latter is already available on Huawei and Honor devices available in India and since its ultimate goal is to push Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), the integration option looks more likely to happen.
It is worth noting that Samsung acquired a 20% stake in OSLabs company last year. This deal resulted in AppsBazaar powering the Galaxy Apps store available on Samsung smartphones and tablets. It will be interesting to see if Huawei's deal will be something similar or different.