Huawei has launched the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro without Google support, revealing the real impact of the US government’s blacklist banning of the Chinse company.
Both phones unveiled in Munich Germany will not have YouTube, Google Maps or Gmail pre-installed, despite running Google’s Android 10 operating system.
Australian pricing and availability for the “second-generation” 5G handsets are due to be confirmed soon.
Powered by the brand new Kirin 990 processor and boasting the new EMUI10 interface, both the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro are sure to impress visually and under the hood.
Especially considering the new 40MP SuperSensing Camera on both models, photos will look stunning on its elegantly curved OLED display.
However, without Google integration, international sales in the West may be reduced if the US ban is not lifted, despite all its features.
Consumer device chief, Richard Yu explained during the launch event that because of the US Ban, “this phone cannot pre-install the GMS [Google Mobile Services] core”.
“It forced us to use the HMS [Huawei Mobile Services] core,” Mr Yu continued.
The new phones will instead utilise the Huawei App Gallery, where users will be able to download replacement apps, said a spokesperson to the BBC.
They may even introduce a way to “side-load” Google’s apps onto the new Mate 30 handsets, which the spokesperson indicated Huawei staff would advise customers on how to do it.
Due to the GMS compatibility issue, the company has developed its own smart assistant called the Huawei Assistant to replace the Google Assistant.
Both the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro will come with the assistant pre-installed, with Huawei saying the functionality and performance will improve as more people use it.
In case the ban is not lifted, Huawei has set aside $1 billion (USD) to encourage developers to make their apps compatible with the new handsets.
Huawei is offering higher commissions than both Google and Apple with developers keeping 85% of revenues when they published their apps on Huawei’s App Gallery.
More than 45,000 apps are already integrated into the new technology, though Mr Yu mentioned no names during the announcement.
Despite its investment, the Chinese company wants to continue its partnership with Google; however, Mr Yu said, ‘if the ban isn’t lifted [Huawei] will have to use our own software,’ a reference to its postponed HarmonyOS operating system.
Pledging to continue using the Android operating system, for now, the Harmony OS may be released next year if the company remains blacklisted in the US.
The other challenge for the company is carrier support, which Mr Yu said are still in negotiations, though he remains positive carriers will sell the phone.
“Consumers love our products, so they sell very well”, said Mr Yu who predicts the Mate 30 series to sell at least 20 million units.
Figures shared during the event showed Huawei smartphone sales had risen by 26% between January and August 2019.
Alongside the new smartphone releases were the brand new FreeBuds 3 wireless headphones and the Watch GT2, Huawei’s latest smartwatch.