Huawei debuted is latest flagship devices with the Mate 40 series earlier today. While the hardware was the star attraction for the event, there was another announcement that also caught our attention – Huawei’s digital voice assistant Celia.
The solution is one that Huawei has been working on for some time, and now we have a better idea of where the company aims to make it available. To that end, during the presentation, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu noted that Celia would support five languages at launch – English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
As the tweet below adds, Celia will be launched in 15 countries, of which South Africa is one.
Celia, Huawei's digital voice assistant, is coming to South Africa. We've had this confirmed by @HuaweiZA in the past, but no mention of a launch date just yet. #HuaweiMate40 pic.twitter.com/aCJ8u27YHE
— Hypertext (@htxtafrica) October 22, 2020
Looking at the other 14 countries, they all appear to be Huawei’s recognised first-wave nations, all of which receive new devices earlier than other regions.
While it is good to hear that Celia will be coming to local Huawei devices, especially as a lack of Google services makes an assistant hard to come by on newer smartphones, it still remains to be seen when the solution will officially be launched in South Africa.
We have been a part of two separate media sessions with Huawei Mobile SA this year, where Celia was brought up. During the sessions, the company confirmed that we would indeed be getting Celia, but that a specific date could not be determined.
Given that Celia formed part of the EMUI 11 portion of the presentation, we could see it arrive when the latest version of Huawei’s operating system rolls out to devices.
Precisely when that will be, however, remains to be seen, with developers and beta users the only ones with access for now.
Either way, the experience on HMS-running Huawei phones should prove interesting, but as we’ve seen with the likes of Bixby, digital assistants can prove difficult to get right.