Huawei launched the new Mate30 series of flagships and whilst those appear to be two impressive flagships it seems the US-China trade war which we expected to affect Huawei’s phones at some point is doing so now. The phones will come with Huawei Mobile Services instead of Google Play Services.
Here we’ll take a look at what that means and how that may limit those in the market for a Huawei Mate 30.
There’s bad news…
Richard Yu, Huawei’s CEO said Google Play Services won’t be available on the phone even if it does launch in Europe. This means goodbye to a number of applications you know and love including (but not limited to):
- Google App*
- Google Chrome*
- Google Maps
- Google Play Store
- Google Drive
- Google Play Music
- Google Play Movies
- Google Photos
- Google Calendar
- Google Keep
- Google Translate
- Google Messages
What about sideloading (downloading the APK and installing outside the Play Store) these applications? Well, the CEO also said that won’t be possible meaning your only option will be Huawei’s AppGallery.
and not much else…
If by some chance you manage to sideload the applications, there’s one problem: Since March of 2018 Google has been cracking down on these devices which don’t pass the certification. This resulted in an error message warning users that they have preloaded Google apps without certification and a warning to manufacturers that they need a licence. The apps wouldn’t open beyond this warning.
There’s some hope as XDA Forum notes:
If you sideload Google Play apps and services as outlined in Scenario 1 or 2 on Huawei, Honor, and Xiaomi devices currently sold in China, you likely won’t come across this message. The reason is that even though these China market phones have no need to meet Google’s Android certification requirements, these device makers meet the requirements anyway.XDA Forums
Huawei may also have trouble getting apps from US-based developers on their app store, as the trade ban might affect that as well. It’s not entirely clear whether or not this will be the case and Huawei has said they will be putting $1 billion into incentivizing developers to bring their apps on to their platform. We’ll see how that goes.
Sideloading GMS apps on the Huawei Mate 30 and other new devices from Huawei and Honor will likely trigger the “device is not certified by Google” error message to appear. Overcoming this message will be a significant barrier to entry for the average user, and I’m curious to see how Huawei will deal with this .Mishaal Rahman – XDA Forum
What does all this mean? In my view, if you live outside China buying any of the Mate 30 flagship devices is akin to jumping out of a moving car and hoping the damage is minimal. Damage will definitely be there but the extent of the damage isn’t certain. It could be a minor inconvenience or a train smash. Whether you want to take that risk with an 800 Euro device is up to you.
PS: I hope I’m being overly pessimistic and I’m wrong about most of the above. That will be a good thing for the consumers who love Android, Huawei and healthy competition
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