Huawei may team up with India's Indus OS as a Play Store alternative
What you need to know
- Huawei is looking to India's homegrown Indus OS as a way around the Google Mobile Services ban.
- Indus OS' App Bazaar has over 400,000 apps in 12 Indian languages.
- The partnership is kicking off in India, and it could extend to a global stage if things go well.
With Huawei being cut out of Google Mobile Services — prohibiting the Chinese manufacturer from offering Gmail, Play Store, Drive, and other Google services on its phones — the brand is looking at alternate options. The manufacturer is positioning its own AppGallery and Huawei Mobile Services as an alternative to the Play Store in European markets, and Huawei set up a global fund of $1 billion to court developers to build apps for its store.
It now looks like Huawei is taking a different approach in India. According to ET Telecom, the Chinese brand is said to be in talks with India's homegrown Indus OS as an alternative to Google's services in the country.
Indus OS' app store App Bazaar has over 400,000 apps in 12 local languages, and the fact that it has content in local languages makes it that much easier for Huawei to integrate it as an alternative to the Play Store:
According to ET Telecom, Huawei's partnership with Indus OS could extend to cover global markets, but for now the deal will focus on India:
Interestingly, Samsung is a stakeholder in OSLabs, the company behind Indus OS, with the South Korean manufacturer picking up a 20% stake by shelling out $5.75 million last year. What does Samsung get out of the investment, you ask? App Bazaar now powers the Galaxy Store in India, with Samsung leveraging Indus OS for its local language content.
It remains to be seen if Huawei will actually go through with the move, but the brand is set to unveil its 2020 portfolio shortly and it will need to address the lack of Google Mobile Services sooner rather than later.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.