When the iPhone first released in 2007, it became the smartphone to have. Over a decade later, Apple has now become one of many tech companies offering customers the latest in mobile technology — the most recent being Huawei. The decision of which smartphone to have has become increasingly difficult, especially when factoring in which apps you'll be able to access on different operating systems. So can you get Google apps on Huawei, or will their flagship Mate 30 series have its own?
It's not looking great. As a Google spokesperson told Reuters, "the Mate 30 cannot be sold with licensed Google apps and services due to the U.S. ban on sales to Huawei." This ban is due to "concerns about [the company's] cosiness with the Chinese government," as media site CNET writes, "and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies." In mid-May, President Donald Trump issued an executive order "effectively banning Huawei from U.S. communications networks," leading to the Google issue.
However, Trump recently "indicated [the ban] could be lifted as part of a trade deal," as Reuters writes. Until this is decided, customers planning on buying the Mate 30 series will not be able to access apps like YouTube and Google Maps in a conventional way. The spokesperson also added that the "temporary reprieve that the U.S. government announced last week [will] not apply to new products such as the Mate 30."
Despite all the bans and controversy, none of the ongoing drama applies to existing Huawei devices. As Google tweeted in May, "services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning" despite the ban. As a spokesperson for Huawei told Reuters, the company "will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the U.S. government allows us to do so. Otherwise, we will continue to develop our own operating system and ecosystem."
As BBC News notes, "[i]t is possible to create Android-powered devices without involving Google [as] Amazon does this with its Fire tablets, which do not come with Google's apps."
To use apps like YouTube on the Fire tablet, developers like YouTube.com have an app available to download on the Amazon Appstore. You can also use Google's services through Amazon's internet browser Silk, so this is more than likely the way customers will be able to use Google's apps on the Mate 30 series. Although, without access to Google services on their smartphones, Huawei may lose a lot of shipments outside China as independent analyst Richard Windsor told the Financial Times.
Either way, the Mate 30 series is set to release sometime next month according to Tech Advisor, so it's unlikely that the U.S. trade ban will be lifted in time for Google to be utilised on the new Huawei devices. And while the future may be uncertain as to whether Google's services will eventually be back on Huawei's phones, the tech company's OS backup plan seems like it will suffice in the meantime.