While visiting the CES 2020 booth in Las Vegas, I was most surprised at the Huawei exhibit. As you know, Huawei was on the U.S. Department of Commerce's list of entities last year and has been embargoed. Of course, we do not sell devices in the US market either. On the other hand, at the CES venue, we exhibited a booth as a matter of course, with a body that does not feel such a dust.
On display were the company's latest smartphones. In Japan, unreleased "Mate 30 Pro" and foldable smartphone "Mate X" are also placed, and it was impressive that visitors were eagerly touching the terminal. In the United States, Huawei's smartphones are far less common than in Japan, so it may have been unusual.
Although it was on the list of exhibitors in advance, I guess I'm not going to exhibit anymore this year. At the same time, I was a bit excited to see if something went wrong, but I haven't heard any problems during the exhibition. Even under sanctions, the latest model was on display. This is in contrast to ZTE, which was similarly sanctioned and only had a business talk corner the following year.
Still, this is a significant "shrink" compared to the past. Looking back at the past, the first model of the Mate series, Ascend Mate, was announced at a CES press conference in 2013. The Mate series was a 6.1-inch, large-screen model for businesspeople. At the time, the Mate series was a terminal that competed with the Galaxy Note, which had a growing presence with Guigui. Speaking of which, Mate and Note, at first glance, look similar in character [laughs].
▲ The first model of the Mate series was announced at CES in 2013.
Its successor, the Ascend Mate2 4G, was also announced at CES 2014. In 2017, Richard Yu, Consumer Business Group CEO, was the first to speak at the CES keynote. At that time, Huawei was also aiming to increase its share in the US market. The cloud was suspicious in 2018, and a major carrier canceled a Huawei terminal at the last minute. Richard Yu, the keynote speaker for the second consecutive year, acknowledged the fact. Given the current battle between the United States and the bees, Huawei incredibly valued CES.
▲ In 2017 and 2018, Richard Yu gave the keynote address for the second consecutive year
Unfortunately, the situation has changed a lot at that time, but we managed to stop and the booth was on display in 2020. CES attracts people not only from the United States but also from various countries and regions, so it can be used as a place to promote products. As expected, it was too risky for executives to visit, so no recitals were held, but the presence was appealing. There was an aim to show the power to U.S. consumers and mitigate the Huawei threat theory … While it may be a view that is too overwhelming, but a visit that takes a terminal like a rarity You can see that there was a certain effect.
In addition, the CES booth seemed to be a place for gathering friends to expand the ecosystem of the original app platform "HMS [Huawei Mobile Service]". When I looked closely at the Huawei booth, there were tables and chairs in a corner separated by tape, and people were gathering. When I spoke to the staff at the booth, this was a space for developers. "There are so many developers in the US that it's important to get involved to strengthen the ecosystem," said a spokeswoman.
▲ The booth also has a section explaining HMS to developers.
Certainly, there are so many apps originating in the United States, and there are many services that are used across countries such as Facebook, Twitter, Uber, etc. Although Huawei has not been able to sell handsets in the United States, it plans to gradually introduce handsets equipped with HMS to Europe and other Asian countries, including Japan. In order to launch in these regions, it is essential that you have US company apps. The United States is still important, even though it has been removed from the market.
▲ There was no Google Play on the exhibition machine, Huawei's own app store AppGallery was installed
On the other hand, Huawei gives priority to GMS [Google Mobile Service]. As soon as sanctions in the United States are eased and it becomes possible to do business with Google, we plan to launch terminals equipped with GMS as soon as possible. Google also had a booth at CES, announcing the new features of Google Assistant, and dispatched a briefing officer to the booth of a manufacturer exhibiting products equipped with Google Assistant.
Unfortunately, none of the staff at the Huawei booth wore a Google tether, just representing the current situation. However, given the high degree of attention to devices and global shipments, if HMS can be used, it may become the third power behind iOS and GMS-equipped Android. It depends on politics which way to go, but Huawei will keep an eye on 2020. We also want to pay attention to MWC 2020, a mobile exhibition in February, where the company will be serious.