Huawei prods consumer cloud world, but only just

The last few years has seen Huawei’s position in the consumer world become stronger and stronger, and now it seems to have worked up the confidence to take on Google.

The latest announcement from the consumer business group will see Huawei offer customers free cloud storage on its devices. It shouldn’t be considered an unusual move, most device manufacturers are increasing looking for ways to different their products as hardware has pretty much hit a standstill, but we’re not too sure Huawei has nailed this one.

“The launch of Huawei Mobile Cloud highlights our commitment as a business to creating a more convenient mobile experience for our users, all the while assuring them that their data can easily be backed up and restored, as well as remaining secure,” said Walter Ji, President of Huawei Western Europe’s Consumer Business. “All files and photos stay within EU servers and we have local Legal, Security and Privacy expert teams in EU, to give users complete peace of mind.”

For users who max out the storage on their devices, one option is to pair devices with a cloud storage offering. There are quite a few around, though one of the most well-known will possibly be Google Drive. There’s a simple reason for this, most devices are now run by the Android operating system, so the app is there already. It’s a simple connection.

For Huawei to muscle in on this market, it would have to make a pretty attractive offer. Not only is the default position for most people Google Drive, it is an Android phone after all, Google is one of the most trusted and respected brands in the world. Earlier this week, Interbrand released its evaluation of what are the most valuable brands worldwide, and Google came second. The evidence is there that customers will trust the internet giant with their data. Huawei came 70th.

So if you don’t have a better brand than a competitor, generally the next step is to undercut, and Huawei certainly has the resources to undercut. But it hasn’t. Subscribers of Huawei Mobile Cloud will receive 5GB of free cloud storage, whereas Google Drive offers 15GB before you have to pay.

One are where the company could undercut is on the upgraded storage. For 100GB of data, Google charges £1.59 a month, and £7.99 a month for 1TB. Huawei didn’t include prices for upgraded storage options in the announcement, so there is a glimmer of hope.

Google Drive also has another advantage here seeing as it is linked to the Android operating system. If you decide you want to change phone, say from a Huawei to a Samsung, you just sign into your Google account and its business as usual. Huawei cannot offer the same luxury. Yes, you will still be able to upload content through the internet, but it isn’t as easy as uploading straight from the device, so we can’t really see it happening.

Huawei has made some very positive steps forward in the consumer world in recent months, just look at the global smartphone rankings if you want proof, but this isn’t the greatest start if it has wider ambitions in the consumer cloud world. It has to give users a reason to move away from Google, as the Android platform has given it a massive advantage. Right now, it isn’t really giving customers that reason.

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