Tens of millions of Huawei smartphones that will be entering the market going forward will arrive with Truecaller pre-installed. This is after the makers of Truecaller, the app that is widely known for identifying unknown callers and blocking spammers, entered into a “strategic deal” with the Chinese device maker.
According to a statement released to announce the deal, there is no money changing hands and the two companies believe that the deal is in their best interests as, according to them, each side stands to gain.
The first device to arrive with the Truecaller integration is the flagship device of Huawei’s Honor sub-brand which specializes in smartphones that are mid-range in price and premium in everything else, the Honor 8. Starting in September, all new Huawei devices in America, Middle East & North Africa (MENA), South East Asia and India will arrive with the app preloaded. Since there is no mention of our region, Sub-Saharan Africa, is it safe to say we’re safe?
Truecaller users are making over half a billion calls every month
The pessimism in that last statement is because Truecaller is a double-edged sword, at least to some users. Some see it as invading users’ privacy while others see it as a very useful tool in their day-to-day lives. Indeed, the company confirmed the latter by announcing that it had hit the 90 million monthly active users mark and that its users were making half a billion calls every month.
The deal with Huawei is certainly Truecaller’s biggest, yet, but not the first. The company has had a similar arrangement with Cyanogen Inc that has seen the app’s caller identifying function built into the dialer app of devices that run on Cyanogen OS like the Wileyfox Storm and others.
Industry-wide, there has been a shift towards integrating some of the features that have made Truecaller popular and recognizable worldwide. In certain regions, Samsung’s 2016 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, for instance, ship with a caller ID and spam caller detector built in thanks to a partnership with US company Whitepages that is behind Hiya, a solution similar to Truecaller’s. Hiya is also powering similar functionality on Samsung’s latest high-end smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, in 28 countries. Google is also in the mix. The search giant updated the phone app on the latest Nexus and Android One smartphones to automatically flag spam callers.