Google says that Huawei’s next flagship, the Mate 30 can’t launch with official Google apps.
Huawei’s upcoming flagships, the Mate 30 and the Mate 30 Pro, will be released without official Google apps on board, this is according to a report by Reuters.
A Google spokesperson informed Reuters that due to the US ban, the Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro, and presumably, other upcoming devices like the now-delayed foldable Mate X could be severely limited at launch can’t be sold with official Google Play certification.
The devices will still run Android, which is at its core open-source software that’s freely available. But the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro which were rumored to launch on September 18th, won’t be able to ship with Google’s apps and services on board. This could put them at a severe disadvantage given how important Google’s apps are for android users across the globe.
Can you imagine not being able to access the play store, Gmail or Google Maps?
The search giant also added that the temporary license doesn’t apply to new products that weren’t certified before the ban, and that includes the two aforementioned devices.
To be honest, Huawei’s current situation is confusing for most of us, to say the least. Plus its troubles don’t look to be lessening any time soon.
Remember, Huawei received a three-month extension from the US Commerce Department in May to allow them to take significant action to provide service and support, including software updates or patches, to existing Huawei handsets that were available to the public on or before May 16, 2019. Moreover, just last week a second 90-day extension was granted to them and is set to end in November, but that only applies to previously released phones.
The Mate 30 series and any other devices that Huawei plans to release don’t fit that bill and consequently won’t be included under that exemption.
The Mate 30 is rumored to come with a 6.71-inch touchscreen display while powered by an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 985 processor and a 4,200mAh battery.
The phone supports proprietary fast charging, and as far as the cameras are concerned, it packs a quad-lens rear camera, displayed in a circular array on the back of the phone. We’ve heard rumors that the Pro device will have this many cameras, consisting of two 40MP snappers, a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor for accurate bokeh blur, and an 8MP camera with a telephoto lens for zoomed-in shots.
What does this mean for the Mate 30?
The Mate 30 launch would mark the first major launch from Huawei since the ban took effect. Although the Honor 20 Pro did go on sale after the ban but was already certified by Google.
The Huawei Mate 30 range of smartphones is rumored to launch sometime in late September (like we mentioned above), with availability to follow, however, we’ll now have to wait and see if the US-China trade strife causes any delays.
Huawei announced its HarmonyOS operating system in early-August as an alternative to Android and previously said that the first HarmonyOS devices would be launched later this year, and we saw that when they launched the Honor TV. Although, we’ve yet to see what HarmonyOS’s interface looks like or get an idea of how it works on smartphones.
Besides, it’s unlikely that the Chinese tech giant will switch to an unproven operating system so late in the product cycle. The company might have to run an open version of Android with an alternative app store.
Even with a replacement OS ready to go, Huawei will still be faced with an uphill battle because Google apps and services, including the Google Play Store, are acknowledged as a key part of Android as an operating system. To the point that the European Union fined Google a record $5 billion last year for using Play Store access as leverage to force Android phone manufacturers to default to Google search on their hardware.
Also, companies like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or any other US-based company won’t be able to offer apps for that store, even if they wanted to.
But since Google doesn’t offer services within China, phone companies there have had to work without the Play Store for years. However its a much more chaotic marketplace, with hundreds of app stores all competing, and different apps available depending on the store.
A spokesperson for Huawei speaking to Reuters said the company would “continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the US Government allows us to do so […] otherwise, we will continue to develop our own.”
The company is reportedly set to reveal the Mate 30 in Europe but, there’s no clarity at the moment as to where it’ll sell this model apart from China of course, without the official Google certification. Even if the phone is packed with features, it’ll be a hard sell for Huawei.