Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Next HUAWEI Smartphone MATE 30: NO GOOGLE PLAY; Android-Based HARMONY MOS

Among the many Chinese tech brands that have long established themselves as international names is Huawei. For years its line of mobile devices have proven themselves more affordable alternatives to major brands particularly from the US, while offering comparable software features thanks to using Android OS. Unfortunately the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China has led to a blacklisting of Huawei, preventing American businesses from transacting with the Chinese tech giant for needed parts and software. But Huawei has soldiered on despite its new limitations, such that they have a new smartphone debuting this September, even without app support from Android’s creator Google.

CNN reports that Huawei is all systems go for launching their Mate 30 smartphone in the middle of this month. As a show of resilience for its brand in the face of the crippling US trade bans against it the Chinese tech giant would introduce the new phone in Europe, particularly Munich in Germany. The Mate 30 is notable as being the first Huawei phone to release without any built-in apps and services from Google, following the US blacklisting that cut off the company from its American suppliers such as Intel and Qualcomm, plus software partners like Facebook and Google.

While Huawei still had enough supplies from their US suppliers to proceed with the production of the Mate 30, the instantaneous cutting of support from FB and Google, which means the inability to use Google Play Store for app installation and support, means the Chinese company must support its own. While the Android system is open-source and cannot be cut off by US trade embargos, Huawei must roll out an alternative to Google Play Store. That would be their Harmony mobile OS, which was first previewed in August. Still, the loss of Google and its associate app services Play Store, YouTube, Gmail and more, will have significant effects on prospective sales for the Mate 30.

Locally, no Google support is no problem considering the Chinese Great Firewall has long-term blocks for so many of the apps in question anyway. When marketing the Huawei Mate 30 overseas however, the fact that it is no longer supported by the Android developers could hurt sales figures. While the Harmony OS looks to be a decent alternative to Play Store, its presence to still play into fear-monger by the US government that Huawei’s software plays into alleged overreaching espionage practices by China’s Communist government.

The US ban on business with Huawei, pushed for by President Donald Trump, took effect in May. By June, there has been a 40% drop on purchases of Huawei smartphones according to the company founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, a retired military technologist for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Image courtesy of Pocket-Lint


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