Huawei's test will be to sell an android phone without Google, globally
Huawei will be unveiling the Mate 30, its top end flagship on Thursday
It's an event that Huawei foresaw and are completely prepared to take on. The Chinese tech conglomerate will unveil its Mate 30 device on Thursday. The catch ? Huawei's flagship android device will have no Google Apps.
Huawei confirmed that its three models will use Google's open source android but will not officially have any Google apps like Maps or Gmail since it was put on a trade blacklist by the United States back earlier this year affecting most if not all their products and services from licensing vendors based in the US such as Google over security concerns. There was an ease in restriction allowing Huawei to get support for their existing devices like the popular P 30 Pro series which has been a solid camera phone but the Mate series is one that Huawei prides on for having the best hardware and software showcase, case in point, the Mate 20 pro.
In a sense, Huawei has always taken these things with some strength given how popular their brand is in their home turf in China, but with no Google, it will find out just how much consumers will want to buy a device internationally without the core apps that support them.
There is, however, a workaround in place. Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu who told the media at the recent IFA conference that users could manually install apps since its still android.
Huawei CBG CEO Richard Yu says the process would be “quite easy” for users, noting that the open-source nature of Android enables “a lot of possibilities.” Yu also noted that third-party developers have been working with them on possible solutions, as Huawei itself is unable to provide Google Mobile Services on new products due to the ban.
It would require some knowledge of how to install out of market apps but without Google updating them is it worth taking that chance?
Huawei knows what its up against, they've declared that they've lost 40% of global smartphone sales when the ban went into place. They've made some news recently with their advancements in 5G and AI. Their Harmony OS was reportedly a susbstitute but turned out to be a platform for IoT devices to communicate with each other. Their new phone having been leaked on various chinese social media sites show the Mate 30 pro will have four lenses this time and their prowess with hardware is phenomenal which makes it quite dissapointing that the company can't make a device that will go to its full potential.
It's also quite possible that Huawei may surprise us altogether with their launch. Huawei could work something out just in time for phones to get Google support just in time for a global rollout, a timeline that we don't have and time that Huawei can't afford to lose just as Apple has dropped the latest iPhone and Google will release their own Pixel 4.
Which begs the question to ask if Huawei still be relevant in the international consumer space without an android backbone to support them.