One of the most promising Android phones of 2019 has been dealt a serious blow, with Huawei confirming the Mate 30 will launch without any Google apps. (This includes Google Maps, Calendar, Google Drive, Google Assistant and Gmail.) Instead, it will reportedly come with third-party alternatives running on a bespoke version of Android 10. Here are the details.
As reported by Ausdroid, Huawei officially confirmed at IFA 2019 that its upcoming Mate 30 smartphone will not be running Google’s apps or services. The decision was essentially forced on both businesses by a US executive order banning American telecommunications firms from using Huawei equipment.
At the IFA conference, Dr Wang Chenglu, Huawei’s president of consumer software, said the company was in the process of developing alternatives to Google apps and services, including GPS navigation.
Despite the loss of Google apps, it appears the Mate 30 will still be running on the latest version of Android, albeit an open-source iteration. In other words, the company's much-touted rival OS - Harmony - won't be making its debut on the Mate 30 (at least, not in western markets.)
This is a bitter pill to swallow for Huawei fans and is sure to have an impact on global sales. While the Android ecosystem isn't as fenced in as Apple's iOS, apps like Google Maps and Gmail are essential to most users. Expecting customers to use third-party alternatives or implement workarounds to access these apps is a very big ask.
On the hardware side, the Huawei Mate 30 is looking much more compelling. It will reportedly be powered by the latest Kirin 990 processor, support 5G networks in Australia and have a gargantuan rear quad camera that improves on Huawei's industry-leading P30 Pro. You can also bet that the battery will be one of the longest-lasting on the market.
But will this be enough to sway customers to buy a hamstrung Android?
We'll know more when the phone launches against the odds on September 18. Based on these developments, things aren't looking rosy for the Huwaei Mate 30.
If you've been eyeing the Huawei Mate 30 Pro as a potential phone replacement, you might want to reconsider. Google has confirmed that the model will be banned from using Google-licensed apps and services. At the very least, this means no Play Store access, no Google applications and no Android 10.