Recently Apple has been plagued by a series of scandals. The company has been accused of monopolizing the market, stifling innovation, failing to treat different apps alike as well as of other deadly sins of the mobile industry. Let’s figure out what’s wrong with Apple, what possible alternatives are (except for Google Play), and let’s have a closer look at AppGallery. How fast is this store developing and does it have any future?
Top 5 Apple’s deadly sins
Let’s first sort out everything they blame Apple for. The list turns out to be quite long:
- Apple limits the choice of users in favor of their own services and technologies (Spotify, Kobo, Tile).
- Subscription fees on AppStore are high (Match Group: Tinder, OKCupid and Match). However, app developers must use Apple’s API for in-app purchases, or risk their app being banned (Fortnite). This applies even to login-only apps (Hey.com). If your website has paid functions, then they must be paid in the app too (WordPress).
- Apple provides individual terms and conditions to its chosen ones. Amazon has agreed to cut fees in half for Prime.
- Cloud services are impossible to launch (Stadia, xCloud).
- Apple doesn’t let its users download any software that’s outside the App Store and uses its ‘monopoly power‘ to stifle innovation (Telegram).
Epic Games and Apple
This is the major scandal, which everyone is now watching closely. At the moment, Fortnite has been blocked on both stores (but Unreal Engine may be accessed). Tim Sweeney, the Epic Games founder, writes:
At the most basic level, we’re fighting for the freedom of people who bought smartphones to install apps from sources of their choosing, the freedom for creators of apps to distribute them as they choose, and the freedom of both groups to do business directly.
Legal proceedings are still underway, and we’ll keep following the news. You might know that two antitrust investigations are underway against Apple right now. During the preliminary investigation, the European Commission acknowledged that some apps couldn’t notify their users about subscriptions outside of the store and that it was indeed “concerning” that competition was being held back, thus reducing the users’ choice.
How are things with fees on other stores?
Meanwhile, Apple commissioned a study that basically boils down to the fact that platforms like Google Play charge a 30% fee too.
|Google Play Store||Q 30%(15% for subscriptions after 12 months)|
|Amazon Appstore||Q 30% (20% for video streaming subscriptions)|
|Samsung Galaxy Store||Q 30% (or otherwise agreed-upon)|
|Microsoft Store||Q 30% on games, Q 30% on all sales in Business and Education stores, Q 30% for Windows 8 devices, Q 15% otherwise|
|Apple App Store||Q 30% (15% for subscriptions after 12 months)|
Pavel Durov disputed that data, arguing that the comparison is inappropriate as Android users may install apps from third-party sources. Other platforms are not related to mobile OS and are not comparable to iOS and Android in terms of the number of users, apps, and the costs of switching to competing platforms.
An interesting observation: AppGallery is not on this list. Perhaps because they now have a preferential policy to acquire developers.
|Developer Apps Categories||Standard（Huawei: Developer）||Preferentia（Huawei: Developer）|
The 1st month to the 12nd month
The 13rd month to the 24th month
|Media and Entertainment, Tools, Communication, Books and References, |
Photography, Food and Drink, Travel and Navigation,
Travel and Accommodation, Shopping, Business,
Kids, Finance, Sports and Health,
Lifestyle and Convenience,
Cars, and Personalized Themes.
Alternative stores and AppGallery being a ‘leader’
According to Financial Online, the top app stores in 2019 were Google Play, App Store, Windows Store and Amazon Appstore. But in winter Huawei announced AppGallery as the third largest store. In fact, that app store is already two years old, covering 139 countries and regions. According to Huawei, they had over 120 billion downloads and 270 million monthly active users in 2018. In 2019, they even spoke of 210 billion downloads and 400 million users. This data seems fantastic, perhaps by downloads they also mean updates. At the same time, the vast majority of AppGallery users come from China. However, these are some serious figures. Moreover, one cannot ignore the fact that Huawei keeps improving its ecosystem and acquiring app developers.
AppGallery: pros and cons
- Huawei is growing. Now their smartphones have about the same market share as Samsung (20% each), while outstripping Apple (14%). A year ago, Huawei confidently held the second place.
- AppGallery is preinstalled on their smartphones.
- They come up with activities to acquire app developers (a preferential program for developers with 100% benefit throughout the first year is a good example).
- Globally, it is an alternative to the Apple-Google duopoly, and any competition does good to the market.
- It’s pretty easy for developers to upload their apps to AppGallery.
- If your app uses Google Drive to store backups (this is what WhatsApp does), you need to find another location to backup to since HMS doesn’t support Google Drive.
- AppGallery lacks many common apps (Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Netflix, Zoom, Facebook), which makes it difficult to promote Huawei and acquire more users in Europe and the US.
Features of ASO on AppGallery
AppGallery’s structure is very similar to that of App Store and Google Play. For example, just like on App Store, users can install an app directly from the search results. One of the store’s features is Gift Centre where users are offered discounts, in-game currencies, and other perks. This is a good opportunity for user retention.
App page elements
- App title
- Short description (80 characters)
- Description (max 8,000 characters)
- Icon (PNG, 216 x 216)
- Screenshots (landscape or portrait, at least 3)
- App title (max 64 characters).
- New features – details of changes are displayed under the description (max 1,000 characters).
What is indexed?
App title, short and full description, developer’s name, categories and new features. In general, working on ASO for this store is very similar to Google Play optimization. What makes it unique is that AppGallery is less studied, and not all of its algorithms are still obvious to us. You may want to try an empirical approach.
Localization can be done in 78 languages, including English (US/UK), Simplified / Traditional Chinese (HK/TW/CN), French, German, Russian, Italian, and Portuguese.
Summary: 5 reasons to submit an app to AppGallery
- Huawei is actively growing around the world
There are no exact figures of active AppGallery users by country. But their number is apparently growing along with Huawei’s market share. By the way, Huawei and Honor have recently released HONOR 9X Pro, exclusively with AppGallery (not Google Play Store) and HMS, that is, with Huawei’s mobile services.
- Low competition
So far, AppGallery is not as tough to win over as other stores. Judge it for yourself. According to Statista, there are 2,560,000 apps on Google Play, 1,847,000 apps on App Store, 669,000 apps on Windows Store, and 489,000 apps on Amazon Appstore. According to Huawei, its AppGallery currently hosts about 45,000 apps. Most of them are targeted at the Chinese market.
- Rewriting the code is not necessary
The code of a similar Android app doesn’t need rewriting, which means minimum time waste. The following article elaborates on the topic of adapting an app for AppGallery.
- Few differences in ASO
The main stages of ASO are the same as on Google Play. The differences are insignificant. At the same time, Gift Centre may be of extra help to acquire users.
- Preferential Policy
During the first year, developers will receive 100% profit.
It seems to us that entering a new growing market and developing along with it may be better than hanging out in a crowd of latecomers. Especially when it comes to insignificant time investment.
We hope you’ve found this review helpful. We’ll keep trying to cover relevant topics in our posts. Have you checked our previous apps news digest by the way? If you’d like to ask any questions related to the mobile industry, please contact us. Your feedback helps a lot. Email us at [email protected].