Huawei’s highly anticipated flagship smartphone, Mate 30 Pro, is set to be revealed on September 19. And there’s been a new revelation that could deter a lot of potential buyers.
This has been a tough year for Huawei. The Chinese tech giant lost its trading rights with the US as a result of the ongoing trade war between the US and China. Trump’s government has accused the company of willfully violating the US’s sanction against Iran and of spying for the Chinese government.
What this means is that for the time being Huawei will not be allowed to do business with any American company. Which is why Google will no longer be able to provide Android for its upcoming devices, including the flagship Mate 30 Pro. But all of this was already known. There is just one little shocking twist to this.
No Google Mobile Services
Android is an open-source operating system. So technically anybody can use it. It just won’t come built-in with the new devices. But what people won’t be able to download are the Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps. These are the applications that aren’t open source and are licensed by Google. These include very popular and some extremely important apps like Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Play Store etc.
Trump’s administration has faced a lot of criticism over its treatment of Huawei. It was revealed earlier this year that a lot of US companies could also suffer as a result of the ban on Huawei. Trump has since reached an agreement with China to resume talks regarding the Trade war. And he has also announced that he could ease the sanctions against Huawei.
But unless an agreement is reached, the new Huawei devices including the Mate 30 Pro and the Mate X (Huawei’s folding phone) could be without the GMS apps. This could deter a lot of potential buyers.
Huawei has sold over 16 million units of the P3 Pro, its last phone. But the P3 Pro sold well because software updates were still available on those phones, and will still be available till mid-November. Till then, the current Trade-arrangement allows Google to deal with Huawei. But that arrangement will not work for the new devices.
So where exactly does this leave Huawei?
Huawei has been rolling out its own operating system, Harmony OS on several gadgets. And chances are the Mate 30 Pro and Mate X will come with Harmony OS built in. And Huawei does have the resources and man power to make Harmony OS a truly top-notch OS. But this is still very much of a plan B for the company. Huawei will still be hoping that the trade war will ease off and it will be able to deal with Google again.
But all is not bleak for the company, in case the trade talks head sound. Considering the stats from the sales of the P3 Pro, Huawei’s major market is currently mainland China. Sure, the missing GMS apps could discourage a lot of international buyers, but given that most potential buyers of the Mate 30 Pro will be from China and the fact that GMS apps are already banned in mainland China anyway, maybe Huawei won’t be hit as hard as one would think.
We will certainly learn more about Huawei’s predicament on September 19.