Huawei Mate 30: New Huawei phone to launch without Google apps

Excitement would usually be high in the UK and Europe for a major new release from the Chinese tech giant, but it may struggle to find buyers for the Mate 30 series outside its homeland.

The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro are the first handsets from Huawei since the firm was blacklisted by the White House earlier this year, amid claims it was a security threat because of its relations with the Chinese government.

Huawei has denied the allegations and described the action taken as a “concerted effort by the US government to discredit and curb its leadership position in the industry”.

The restrictions mean it cannot use the fully featured Google-run Android operating system (OS) on new phones, with a temporary licence issued earlier in the summer only covering existing devices.

The only version of Android that Huawei is allowed to use is one that is open source.

In practical terms for Huawei fans in the UK and Europe, that means the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro are not allowed to come with key apps like Google Maps and YouTube – or security protections from Google itself.

Huawei has been working on its own homemade operating system called HarmonyOS as an alternative, which features its own app marketplace called AppGallery to replace the Google Play Store.

But with Android being the most widely used mobile OS in the world, its absence will be keenly felt.

Huawei has not even revealed a UK or European release date for the Mate 30 series, despite holding its anticipated announcement presentation in Munich.

Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei Consumer Business Group, put emphasis largely on hardware features like the cameras and battery life, with scant detail about software.

The showcase featured slides comparing the Mate 30 specs with the latest phones from rivals Apple and Samsung, but quick glimpses of its edge-to-edge display showed no sign of any Google apps.

There was also no sign of the Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp in the AppGallery.

Mr Yu only briefly touched on their conspicuous absence, telling the audience the US trade ban had “forced” the company to pursue its own solution to the issue.

It could prove to be a major setback for Huawei, which has enjoyed impressive growth in Europe and the UK in recent years to help it overtake Apple in terms of global smartphone market share.

2019-09-20T16:34:09+00:00By |

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