Chinese tech giant Huawei launches its latest high-end smartphone in Munich on Thursday, the first that could be void of popular Google apps because of US sanctions.
Observers are asking whether a phone without the Silicon Valley software that users have come to depend on can succeed, or whether Huawei will have found a way for buyers to install popular apps despite the constraints.
Huawei, targeted directly by the United States as part of a broader trade conflict with Beijing, was added to a “blacklist” in Washington in May.
Since then, it has been illegal for American firms to do business with the Chinese firm, suspected of espionage by President Donald Trump and his administration.
As a result, the new Mate will run on a freely available version of Android, the world’s most-used phone operating system that is owned by the search engine heavyweight.
OS wars, round three
While Mate 30 owners will experience little difference in the use of the system, the lack of Google’s Play Store — which provides access to hundreds of thousands of third-party apps and games as well as films, books and music — could hobble them.
Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
The tech press reports that this yawning gap in functionality has left some sellers reluctant to stock the new phones, fearing a wave of rapid-fire returns from dissatisfied customers.
Huawei president Richard Yu said at Berlin’s IFA electronics fair this month that his engineers found a “very simple” way to install the hottest apps without going via the Play Store.
Huawei could offer its own app store in a preliminary version, setting itself up as a competitor to the dominant Apple and Google offerings, observers speculate.
Over the longer term, the company could build out a similar “ecosystem” of devices, apps and services as the Silicon Valley companies that would bind users more closely to it.
The world’s second-largest smartphone maker after Samsung, Huawei earlier this month presented its proprietary operating system HarmonyOS, a potential replacement for Android.
The Mate 30 will not yet have HarmonyOS installed.
But it could make for a new round in the decades-old “OS wars” between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Mac OS, then Android versus Apple’s iOS.
Meanwhile, Eric Xu, current holder of Huawei’s rotating chief executive chair, has urged Europe to foster an alternative to Google and Apple.
That could provide an opening for Huawei to build up Europe’s market of 500 million well-off consumers as a stronghold against American rivals.
Porsche Design to woo high-end consumers?
Porsche Design and Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) and have partnered again to launch the new PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 30 RS Series smartphone today, the latest luxury device created through the collaboration between Porsche Design and Huawei.
The fifth handset to join the exclusive line-up, the PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 30 RS continues to set the standard for performance and high-end smartphone engineering and functional design.
The new device combines cutting edge technology with the ultimate in smartphone aesthetics.
Powered by the newest HUAWEI Kirin 990 5G, the world’s first flagship 5G SoC, the PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 30 RS supports both 5G Non-Standalone(NSA) and Standalone(SA) modes, adds to its performance credentials with wireless HUAWEI SuperCharge and a sleek aerodynamic design enhanced by two luxurious color versions.
While the color black represents simplicity and strength, red is passionate, glamorous and adventurous.
The PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 30 RS takes the lead in upgrading to the all-new EMUI10 operating system.
Designed based on human factor, EMUI10 delivers comfortable user experience. EMUI10 operating system features a contemporary magazine inspired layout and dark mode to ensure comfort and readability when night falls.