Huawei’s next self-developed smartphone cannot have Google’s popular apps including Maps and YouTube. Google has confirmed that due to a US government ban on trading with Huawei, it could not license its apps to the Chinese smartphone giant. This also signifies that the next Huawei phone will not have access to the Google Play app store, which might possibly leave the customers without access to other popular apps.
Analysts have suggested that Huawei will struggle a lot to sell a phone without Google’s apps. The US government restricted American companies from selling products and services to Huawei in May, citing national security concerns, which Huawei rejects.
According to the report by BBC, the Android operating system is open-source software, which means any manufacturer can offer it on their smartphone or tablet but with an agreement with Google to include its popular apps such as Maps, Pay, Search, Photos, Play Store and YouTube.
Huawei said in a statement that it will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the US government allows us to do so. Otherwise, we will continue to develop a domestic operating system and ecosystem. It has also opened up a website named Huawei Answers to address consumer concerns about the company’s relationship with Android.
Those who have already bought, or are about to buy a Huawei smartphone, can have access to the world of apps as they have always done. Huawei is just weeks away from launching its next flagship phone, the Mate 30 Pro. It will be Huawei’s first major phone launch since the US restrictions were applied in May.
But analysts say launching without Google’s apps in Europe will be a major blow. Consumers expect to have access to all the major apps they are used to – including Maps and YouTube. Without them, Huawei’s phones will seem a lot less appealing. And losing the Play Store means Huawei will need to provide another way for customers to access other popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and BBC News.
It is possible to create Android-powered devices without involving Google. Amazon Fire tablets stand as an example for which do not come with Google’s apps. But how far will customers want a premium, high-end mobile phone that does not have access to some of the world’s most-used apps is the question of the moment.
Huawei has said it will continue using Android for as long as the US government allows it but it has also been working on its own operating system – Harmony OS – as a back-up plan.