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Huawei will launch its new flagship phone, the 5G-capable Mate 30 Pro, next month despite it won’t be using Android and Google apps. The temporary reprieve on Huawei’s US ban doesn’t apply to new Huawei products.
Huawei Technologies announced they are planning to proceed forward with the launch of their new high-end smartphones in Europe despite the fact they won’t be having Google’s official Android operating system and most of their popular applications as is Google Maps or Google Pay. This second-largest smartphone maker plans to reveal the new Mate 30 line of phones on Sept. 18 in Munich, even though this is probably not the same date the device will be available for buying.
This will be Huawei’s first major smartphone equipped with 5G function since U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration decided to put embargo on the company in accusing it on spying U.S. citizens. Even though U.S. government announced temporary postponement of the repercussions, this does not apply to new products which means Mate 30 will not be sold with licensed Google apps and services.
On the other hand, U.S. companies can ask for a license for specific products to be freed from the ban. From Google, they didn’t want to confirm whether they had applied for a license but they did say before, that they plan to continue supplying Huawei.
Huawei spokesman Joe Kelly confirmed Huawei will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the U.S. government allows them to do so, and if not – they will use their own operating system and ecosystem.
Also, there is a questionable method by which these licenses are granted since more than 130 companies applied, and none still have been granted.
In addition, Huawei could decide to use an open-source version of Android but in Europe, Google’s apps have to be used only with the paid license.
Analyst Richard Windsor said that without Google Services, no one will probably going to buy the device. Vincent Pang, senior vice president and board director of Huawei said their new phones will be based on Android and that the company’s goal is to maintain “one standard, one ecosystem, one technology”.
Earlier this month, Huawei presented their own mobile operating system, called Harmony. However, analysts and Huawei executives are dubious that it could work as a good enough alternative to Android especially considering Europe being their key market.
The company’s market share in Europe fell to 19.3% in the second quarter from 24.9% in the first however, Huawei is assured that all of their other hardware in the new phone will be compliant with U.S. law.
Mate 30 line is equipped with the Kirin 990 chipset that should be shown on Sept. 6 by Richard Yu, Huawei’s top consumer executive, at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin.
The Kirin 990 was developed by Huawei’s chips unit HiSilicon, and it is constructed following the blueprints from British chip designer ARM Holdings, owned by Japan’s SoftBank.
ARM discontinued relations with Huawei after the U.S. ban because its designs contain technology of U.S. origin but it seems that ARM license is based on work that existed before U.S. blacklisted Huawei.
From Huawei they claim that they have permanent ownership of the ARMv8 license and chips based on it, including the Kirin 990, should not be affected by the ban.