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Honor aims to bring 5,000 applications in its app gallery in India

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Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Smartphones maker Honor aims to bring onboard 5,000 mobile applications used in India as it begins to start selling the first device with its own AppGallery in the country, a top official of the company said on Tuesday.

The company will start selling Honor 9X Pro without Google Play Store and other important apps such as Gmail and Google Maps, following restrictions imposed by the US government.

"We have onboarded 95 per cent of 150 top apps used in India and 2,000 other local Indian apps in AppGallery available on Honor 9X Pro. Now, we are looking to soon bring on board top-5,000 apps used in India," Honor India President Charles Peng said.

With restrictions imposed by the US government, which bars its companies from supplying hardware and software to Honor's parent Huawei, the Honor 9X Pro users will not get access to the Google Mobile Service suite that includes Youtube, drive, and Google Maps.

"We have brought MapMyIndia onboard for navigation in India. For entertainment, we have Hungama, ZEE5, MX Player, and for e-commerce, Paytm, Flipkart, Nykaa, and Grofers. Almost every app that people use in India are available in our AppGallery," Peng said.

The company has onboarded media houses app like Aajtak, Times of India, Hindustan, The Hindu, and ABP in the gallery.

When asked about the US-based social media apps like Whatsapp that is widely used in India, Peng said, "WhatsApp and Facebook provide their latest Android apps for direct download on their websites, and this can be easily installed without any app store." He said that despite restrictions, several apps including Gmail can be accessed by Honor 9X Pro on browser.

Huawei has invested in over 3,000 engineers to develop apps for the AppGallery and started a 'Shining-Star' programme, investing USD 1 billion in developer incentives.

The company will start selling Honor 9X Pro on e-commerce platform Flipkart from May 21 for Rs 17,999 a unit and gradually through offline channels when the government eases the lockdown rules.

Peng said that smartphones have become an essential product during the lockdown to support work from home.

"Right now, cities that account for 20-30 per cent sales are open. In these cities, which are in orange and green zones, there is a rise in demand because of work from home, online education, shopping, tele-medicine and senior citizens looking for help that needs to be addressed. Therefore, we have launched Honor 9X Pro to cater to at least this immediate and incremental demand," he said.

The company is also working on tie-up with courier firms and other partners who can reach out to parts of the red zone once the sale of mobile devices opens up in those areas.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, May 12 2020. 21:17 IST