Huawei to ship Mate 30 without Google apps, readying workarounds: executive

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Huawei phones advertised in Naples, Italy in July 2019 (Image credit: TechNode/David Cohen)

A Huawei executive has confirmed that its next flagship smartphone, the Mate 30, will deliver without Google services or apps pre-installed, and that alternatives were in active development.

Why it matters: The absence of Google services and apps will have little effect on the new handset’s performance in Huawei’s home market as they are blocked in China, but experts have said that it may significantly lower its appeal in overseas markets.

  • Smartphone makers need to purchase a license from Google to pre-install popular Google apps such as the Google Play Store and Google Maps.
  • Google said last month that it could not sell the license to Huawei because a temporary reprieve from the US government does not apply to new products such as the Mate 30.
  • “No consumers in Europe would want a phone without Google services,” Tiago Alves, vice president of Asia Pacific at Aptoide, a Portugal-based Android app store, told TechNode in a June interview.

Details: Wang Chenglu, Huawei’s president of consumer software, confirmed at the International Radio Show (IFA) consumer electronics expo in Berlin last week that the new Mate 30 handset would launch without Google’s apps or access to its services, and the company is developing alternatives so that user experience faces as little disruption as possible, according to Ausdroid, an Australia-based tech news outlet.

  • The devices will run the Android 10 operating system with Huawei’s EMUI 10, the latest version of its mobile user interface, layered on top.
  • Huawei is set to unveil the Mate 30 line on September 18 in Munich, Germany, but it is unclear when the devices will go on sale.

Context: Huawei released its in-house mobile operating system, HarmonyOS, last month, which is considered to be an Android alternative.

  • Huawei’s upcoming P40 flagship handset may run the HarmonyOS, said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group.
  • Huawei smartphone sales in Europe tumbled 16% year on year in the second quarter, though it retained its position as the second-largest smartphone vendor in Europe with 8.5 million units shipped during the quarter ended June 30.