Huawei will launch in Europe next week its first smartphone that will run on the company’s in-house service framework instead of Google’s, as the Chinese handset giant moves to offset a US trade ban’s impact on its overseas smartphone sales.

Why it matters: The move marks Huawei’s efforts as the world’s second-largest smartphone maker to challenge Google’s dominance in the Android ecosystem in markets outside of China.

  • Experts believe that a lack of Google apps and services will slash the appeal of its new phones in the western markets such as Europe, the company’s biggest overseas smartphone market. 
  • The company has seen its smartphone shipments drop by 16% in the third quarter and 7% in the fourth quarter, according to market research firm Canalys.

Details: The Shenzhen-based company has chosen not to substitute the open-source Android mobile operating system that its handsets all run on. Instead, it developed alternatives to popular Google apps and services that it lost access to as a result of a US trade blacklisting that took place in May.

  • Huawei will launch its Honor V30 smartphone series which uses Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) next week in European markets, Chinese media Beijing News reported on Monday, citing the Honor department within the company.
  • An alternative to the Google Mobile Services framework, HMS provides mobile applications corresponding to Google offerings. They include Huawei App Gallery, a mobile wallet, Huawei Video, and a music app.
  • The V30 is also the first Honor smartphone that is compatible with the next-generation 5G network. Honor is a Huawei budget sub-brand.
  • The company will hold a product event in Europe though the Mobile World Congress (MWC) was canceled, according to the report.
  • A Huawei spokesperson declined to comment.
  • The company said in a statement last week that it would hold “online and regional events to show Huawei’s latest products and solutions” in Barcelona after the MWC cancellation announcement.

Context: Huawei has accelerated its pace to promote HMS and lure more developers to its app platform.

  • It was reported earlier this month that the company had teamed up with Xiaomi and Oppo to form an alternative to Google’s Play store.
  • The company released last month a new version of HMS, adding capabilities such as Quick Response (QR) code extraction, near-field communication (NFC), and identity authentication.

Wei Sheng

Wei Sheng is a Beijing-based reporter covering hardware, smartphone, and telecommunications, along with regulations and policies related to the China tech scene. Before joining TechNode, he wrote about...

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