SHENZHEN (Reuters): Huawei Technologies on Thursday planned to forge ahead with the launch of new high-end smartphones in Europe without the services of Google’s official Android operating system and widely used apps such as Google Maps.
Huawei has announced its own mobile operating system but according to analysts, Huawei executives are planning to initiate the new smartphones without the use of Google in it.
The world’s number two smartphone maker is set to unveil its new Mate 30 line of phones on 18th September in Munich, according to a source familiar with the matter, though it is not clear when the devices would go on sale.
The Mate 30, made to work on new 5G mobile networks, is Huawei’s first major flagship smartphone launch since United States President Donald Trump’s administration effectively blacklisted the company in mid-May, alleging its involvement in activities that compromise US national security- a charge the company denies.
Google spokesman has said that the Mate 30 cannot be sold with licensed Google apps and services due to the US ban on sales to Huawei. A temporary reprieve that the US government announced last week does not apply to new products such as the 30th Mate.
US companies can seek a license for specific products to be exempted from the ban. Google, a part of Alphabet Inc, would not say whether it had applied for a license to offer its apps and services known as Google Mobile Services, though it has said in the past that it wants to continue supplying Huawei.
According to reports the US Commerce Department has received more than 130 applications from companies for licenses to sell US goods to Huawei, but none have been granted.
The uncertainty surrounding the Mate 30 shows the confusion that reigns for Huawei and its business partners as a result of the escalating trade war between China and the US.
While the Huawei blacklisting was cast as a response to security concerns, President Trump has indicated it could be lifted as part of a trade deal.
Huawei can likely use an open-source version of Android without falling foul of the US ban on sales to them. But Google’s apps can only be used in Europe under a paid license from the search giant. There is no fee for the license outside of Europe.