Huawei is preparing to launch its Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro smartphones, devices that will be amongst the best handsets on the market. However, they will come with one very important and severe limitation. Huawei has confirmed the devices will not have access to Google’s services.
Of course, this is hardly a surprise. Earlier this year, the Trump government issued a trade ban on Huawei. U.S. tech companies were prevented from dealing with the Chinese company. Google complied, essentially shutting Huawei out from its services and damaging its chances in the smartphone market.
At the time, Google gave Huawei a 90-day extension to use Android services. This extension was only for existing devices, so the Mate 30 series will not fall under it.
At IFA 2019, Huawei confirmed this is the case. The company cannot use Google apps and services, including Maps, Search, Chrome, and Play. Dr Wang Chenglu, president of consumer software for Huawei, said the company is working on alternatives.
It is worth remembering that Huawei can still use the Android platform. Because it is open source, the company is free to continue using the OS. That means the Mate 30 series will have Android out of the box.
At its September 19 launch event in Munich, we expect Huawei to discuss its alternatives for Google services. We know the devices will be powered by the company’s new Kirin 990 CPU, a processor Huawei says is the most powerful 5G chipset ever.
Earlier this week, Microsoft President and chief lawyer Brad Smith said the treatment of Huawei by the U.S. government has been “un-American”. In the summer, Microsoft joined with gaming rivals Nintendo and Sony to protest Trump’s Chinese tariffs, including Huawei. In the letter, the gaming giants (considered the “big three” of the industry) say U.S. tariffs placed on China will harm the console industry.
Smith says Huawei should be able to trade with U.S. companies and explanations around the regulations are too vague:
“Oftentimes, what we get in response is, ‘Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us, ‘And our answer is, ‘Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves. That’s the way this country works.’”