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Huawei predicts steep smartphone sales slump due to Android ban

Huawei expects its shipments of smartphones to take a considerable hit this year, due to sanctions levelled at the brand by the United States government.

Huawei has projected a 20% drop in smartphone sales in 2020, according to an internal report seen by The Information, and the main reason for that is sanctions from the US. Last year, Google was proscribed from cooperating with Huawei by to an executive order from the American government, in an event known as the Huawei Android Ban.

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This means that Huawei smartphones and tablets that run open source Android software do not have access to Google Mobile Services (GMS).

The resulting lack of apps such as the Google Play Store, Google Maps, WhatsApp, Facebook and more has significantly reduced the appeal of Huawei’s devices (particularly in Western markets) so it’s no wonder that this would have such a negative impact on expected sales.

News of Huawei’s sober forecast comes just a matter of days before the launch of the Huawei P40 Pro, its next flagship device.

Scheduled to launch on March 26 in Paris (though coronavirus fears could yet put paid to these plans), it is the sequel to 2019’s Huawei P30 Pro, which once was named our top-choice camera phone last year due to its spectacular night mode performance and unparalleled lossless zoom capabilities.

Rumours abound about the new device, including an all-new design, different colour options, 5G connectivity and possibly a 52-megapixel lead camera sensor, but the most tempting hearsay so far may be well the rumoured price drop for the series, which is also likely owed to the lack of GMS.

Related: Best Android phones

The ongoing lack of GMS means that Huawei undoubtedly has a tough fight on its hands, especially with rivals releasing such high-performing devices as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the iPhone 11.

That certainly explains why sales prospects are looking relatively gloomy, but we’re intrigued to see how the brand will try to overcome this obstacle.

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