Huawei will be unveiling its highly anticipated 2019 flagship smartphone the Mate 30 Pro on September 19. But this edition of the Mate flagship phones will be a little different from the previous versions. We’ve mentioned before how the Mate 30 will not be coming with the Google Mobile Services apps. This issue has left a lot of potential buyers wondering: Is it safe to buy the Huawei Mate 30 in 2019?
There are a plethora of alternatives in the market, with Google’s own flagship the Pixel 4 coming out later this year. All of these alternatives will have the Google Mobile Services apps installed in them. These include crucial apps such as YouTube and Gmail, but also the Google PlayStore, which allows users to download apps for their Android devices. Huawei’s Mate 30 won’t have these apps.
Huawei has made several desperate attempts to keep potential buyers from deterring. Company CEO Richard Yu made some comments regarding this issue at IFA 2019. He had hinted that the company’s new smartphone could have a new OS, derived from the Android Open Source project. Android is an open source project. It would totally make sense if Huawei made their own OS based on it. Other companies such as One Plus have done the same with OxygenOS. But what Huawei can imitate are the GMS apps, which are licences by Google.
A board director and senior vice president of Huawei, Vincent Pang, confirmed that Huawei would still be building phones based on Android. Speaking at an event in New York City’s One World Trade Center, Pang said:
“Our new phones will still be based on Android. We want to maintain one standard, one ecosystem, one technology.”
Maybe Huawei will resolve its issue regarding the ban, or maybe it won’t. But users will still have the option to side load the GMS apps. This will be the same as installing apps from unknown sources and would require users to give a lot of permission before downloading and installing apps. Typically all of this is handled by the PlayStore. Side loading is by default turned off on Android devices, as it can lead to security and malware issues.
So while it is safe to purchase a Mate 30, given this option, it is still unclear how the average user will deal with the issue. The average user will want the GMS apps pre-installed and this could pose a huge problem for Huawei.
The ongoing Trade War between the US and China has resulted in Huawei being banned in the US. The company can no longer do business with American companies, including Google.
The issue regarding Huawei’s ban has been summarized by Kenneth Li and Douglas Busvine in their piece for Reuters:
A Google spokesman told Reuters the Mate 30 cannot be sold with licensed Google apps and services due to the U.S. ban on sales to Huawei. A temporary reprieve that the U.S. government announced last week does not apply to new products such as the Mate 30, the spokesman said.
U.S. companies can seek a license for specific products to be exempted from the ban. Google, a part of Alphabet Inc, would not say whether it had applied for a license to offer its apps and services known as Google Mobile Services, though it has said in the past that it wants to continue supplying Huawei.