Huawei will launch Mate 30 in September, potentially without Google services


A Huawei logo displayed in a shop in Beijing.

Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images

Huawei will launch next month a new flagship phone, which may not be accompanied by Google applications, told CNBC an informed source of the subject, because the Chinese company is prevented from accessing the software of the giant of research.

The Mate 30 will be presented at an event held on September 19 in Munich, Germany, the source said. It will be powered by the latest Huawei processor called Kirin 990, which has not yet been unveiled. The Mate 30 will be able to connect to next-generation mobile networks, called 5Gs, which promise ultra-fast data speeds.

Huawei continues to launch despite being listed on a US blacklist known as a list of entities. This prevents US companies from doing business with Chinese society. But the tech giant has got a 90-day extension under which US companies can apply for special licenses to sell to Huawei.

Google is subject to these restrictions. Huawei is relying on Google's Android operating system to power its smartphones. In China, Huawei uses a modified version of Android, devoid of Google services such as Gmail or Google Maps, because these are blocked in the country. Instead, it pre-loads its own applications. But in international markets, these Google services are pre-loaded on Huawei phones.

Not having access to Google's services abroad could undermine Huawei's global ambitions to become the world's largest smartphone maker, analysts said.

A Google spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday that the Mate 30 could not be sold with licensed Google applications and services due to the US blacklist, adding that the temporary stay would not apply. not new products such as the future smartphone.

Huawei recently launched its own operating system called HarmonyOS, but the source said it was too early to put that on the Mate 30.

"We will not launch the Harmony system on the smartphone in such a short time, it would damage the relationship and trust between Huawei and Google since we have been working with Google for many years," the source told CNBC.

Instead, Huawei has another option if it can not get a license for Google services. It will use an open source version of Android on which Google applications will not be preinstalled on the smartphone. Users could of course download them afterwards.

Huawei will launch the Mate 30 in international markets as well as in China, despite the fact that it might not have access to Google's services, the source added, adding that the company still hoped that it would not be possible to access Google's services. a solution would be found.

"We are still waiting for a miracle," the source told CNBC.

"For smartphone operating systems, the open Android operating system and its ecosystem remain our first choice." Stay tuned for our new products, "said a spokesman for Huawei .

Some of these details were first reported by Reuters.

The company has already felt the effects of the list of entities on international markets. Deliveries of its smartphones in Europe fell by 16% in one year in the second quarter. However, in China, its shipments have increased because it has turned to its domestic market.

No problem with french fries

Huawei is increasingly interested in its own core technology, from modems to processors, and is now relying on its own operating system to turn away from US products.

The Kirin 990 processor that will feature in the Mate 30 was developed by Huawei's HiSilicon unit. It is based on the designs of Arm Holdings, owned by Softbank. However, the company suspended its activities with Huawei in May because its chip designs contain American technology.

The source said that getting access to the required components for the smartphone was "not a problem", however.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Huawei Arm's license was based on pre-blacklisted work by the Chinese telecom giant, citing a person familiar with the projects.

Arm Holdings was not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC.

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