It’s looking increasingly likely that Huawei’s next flagship smartphones, the Huawei Mate 30 and Huawei Mate 30 Pro, will miss out on a range of extremely popular Google apps and important Google services. Read on for all you need to know.
If you’re already well-versed on the background of the situation (or just not that bothered), skip ahead to the next section.
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.”
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The apps and services Huawei Mate 30 could miss out on
Google is, of course, the maker of the Android operating system, and Huawei’s phones have always ran Android.
However, under current rules, Google has suspended all business with Huawei that “requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing”.
This 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
There are some huge names there. Personally speaking, Gmail, Google Chrome, Google Photos, Google Maps, Google Drive, YouTube and Google Play are services that I rely on heavily. I use them all multiple times every day.
Some of them, like YouTube, are accessible via a web browser, but that’s clearly far less convenient than an app.
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If this turns out to be the case, the Mate 30 series will be a far less tempting proposition than it was. The previous range in the Mate series was outstanding − the Huawei Mate 20 Pro was actually crowned Phone of the Year at the Trusted Reviews Awards 2018.
Huge things had been expected of the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, but not anymore.