Huawei Faces Android Blackout on 5G Smartphone
Huawei’s forthcoming flagship 5G smartphone looks likely to ship without Android and key Google services thanks to the firm’s ongoing blacklisting by the US government.
A Google spokesperson told Reuters that the Mate 30, set for launch in mid-September, can’t be sold with Google apps and services on board since the firm was placed on an ‘entity list’ back in May.
A temporary reprieve announced by Washington last week does not cover new products, the spokesperson added.
It’s unclear whether Google has applied to the US government for an exemption in the case of the Mate 30. Although such exemptions are technically possible, reports suggest 130 applications from US firms to sell products and services to Huawei have been turned down by the Commerce Department.
Huawei does have a back-up plan, it’s in-house developed operating system, known as Harmony.
“Huawei will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the U.S. government allows us to do so. Otherwise, we will continue to develop our own operating system and ecosystem,” a statement from the firm read.
However, the absence of key apps like Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube and access to the Play Store would be a major blow for the new device.
The executive order signed by Donald Trump in May placed Huawei and 70 affiliates on the entity list as well as banning “foreign adversaries” from selling telecoms equipment into the US.
Ostensibly this was for reasons of national security, although the President has conflated the issue with his ongoing trade war with China, undermining the US position somewhat. For example, he has repeatedly dangled the carrot of rescinding Huawei’s blacklisting as part of any potential trade deal.
In the meantime, existing Huawei products are not affected by the ban.