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Further blow to Huawei as Mate 30 won’t have licensed access to any Google apps

For Huawei, the news just keeps getting worse. The world's number two smartphone maker is now going to have to launch its next flagship device without licensed access to Google’s Android – or any of Google’s ubiquitous apps.

The 5G-capable Mate 30 is set to be launched later this month at an event in Munich, but as it approaches so it does so under a cloud of uncertainty, thanks to the actions of the US government.

The US authorities have been expressing doubts about Huawei and its close ties to the Chinese military.There are fears that it provides the Chinese government with a backdoor into foreign communications networks.

The US has effectively blacklisted Huawei and as such Google has been obliged to comply with the government’s decision. It, and a number of American chipmakers, have decided to stop supplying Huawei with their products. Companies include: Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and Broadcom.

The ban extends to software products and services so Google’s Android, the operating system used by Huawei’s smartphones, has also been affected.

The bar prevents Huawei from accessing licensed versions of Android that include technical support and pre-installation of Google’s apps, such as Google Maps and Gmail.

While the US agreed to 90-day temporary licenses that allowed existing Huawei smartphones to keep up to date on Android, those licenses don't apply to new products, which is a major setback to the Mate 30.

For Huawei the news is troubling and has created serious confusion around this new flagship product. While open source versions of Android are available and the company has it's own operating systems HarmonyOS, it appears that it doesn't want to burn its bridges with Android.

The growth the company saw in Europe last year, sales were ahead over 55 percent, looks set to go into reverse.

Neil Tyler

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