Huawei will Launch a Google Now AI Assistant Competitor

February 16, 2017 - 2 minutes read

Huawei isn’t the new kid on the block anymore — in fact, it’s the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. While not the go-to smartphone for San Fran app developers, it’s a household name worldwide thanks to their affordable, dependable hardware. The company is aggressively working towards claiming the second place in the next year, and the latest chip on the table could be an in-house AI voice assistant for their products.

For app developers, it’s a move that won’t have immediate effects on US or European markets, but it’s a strong sign that AI is gaining steam, and that Google and Siri will be battling harder for their titles as king and queen of the app AI industry.

Amazon already swiped a huge share from the table with their always-on Alexa devices. App developers will notice a big blind spot in all three tech giant’s strategies — specifically, the Chinese market. That’s where Huawei is poised to have a big upper hand, and could give it the edge they need to stand out in an increasingly crowded Asian market.

With Samsung also on course to launch their own voice assistant within the year, Google may have to rethink their plan to become the go-to assistant for Android devices. Ultimately, it’ll likely be a good thing for consumers, as more smartphone makers compete to offer the most value on independent platforms, rather than trying to monopolize the market with proprietary “must-have” products.

The move could also lead to a wider variety of options for smart devices and wearables, creating interesting opportunities for third-party mobile app developers in the process. Reports from Bloomberg show that Google has been courting third-party device manufacturers with the goal of getting Google products like Google Now pre-installed on as many products as possible. (Think Android Wear.)

How Huawei’s product will perform if and when they try to expand it outside China remains to be seen. So long as anti-Google Internet blocks remain within the country, however, they certainly have an advantage for testing, training, and honing their assistant’s potential.

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