In a matter of moments, Huawei is expected to pull the covers off the Huawei Mate 30 series, and it could be the most interesting launch event we’ve had in a very long time. The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro could be all but dead on arrival, as they might not be allowed to run a load of extremely popular apps, like Gmail and Google Maps. The entire launch event is going to be live streamed, so you can tune in from the (relative) comfort of your desk.
The event is scheduled to kick off at 1pm BST, which is 2pm local time in Munich, where the event is being held.
However, the live stream is likely to start a little bit ahead of time. So if you don’t mind sacrificing your lunch break − or if you can get away with slacking on the job − you can fire it up early and… soak up the atmosphere?
Just hit the Play button in the video embedded below.
These events typically go on for more than an hour − though Huawei has been known to drag things out in the past − so we’d recommend getting some food in before the party starts.
Today’s event could be extra long too, because the Chinese firm has plenty to talk about.
The background that could make today’s launch so interesting
In May, the Trump administration issued an executive order banning the “acquisition or use in the United States of information and communications technology or services” made by companies deemed to pose a “national security threat” without prior US government approval.
Neither Huawei nor China were mentioned in the executive order, but the Chinese firm was subsequently added to the US Commerce Department’s Entity List.
“The U.S. Government has determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that Huawei has been involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States,” the May 16 announcement reads.
“[The Bureau of Industry and Security] is also adding non-U.S. affiliates of Huawei to the Entity List because those affiliates pose a significant risk of involvement in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”
Google runs the Android operating system, and Huawei’s phones have always featured Android. But Google has had to suspend all business with Huawei that “requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing”, which means the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro won’t be allowed to run the full version of Android.
Instead, they’ll either have to run a completely new operating system or Android Open Source Project (AOSP), a restricted version of Android that doesn’t offer access to many of the apps Android users rely on on a daily basis.
Which route Huawei chooses remains to be seen, but the company recently said that it doesn’t plan to use anything other than Android on its phones until the end of 2019. That means it’s likely that the Mate 30 series will run Android AOSP.
Here’s the list of Google apps that AOSP doesn’t include:
- Google Play Store
- Google Assistant
- Google Photos
- Google Maps
- Google Drive
- Google Duo
Some of them, like YouTube, are accessible via a web browser, but that’s clearly far less convenient than an app.