On September 18th, Huawei is reportedly introducing the Mate 30 in Munich, his new 5G-capable high-end smartphone. But whether it is delivered as usual with Google's operating system Android including the popular Google apps such as the map service Google Maps, or with an open source version of Android without Google Apps or with Huawei's own operating system HarmonyOS, is currently not in sight.
That's crucial for Huawei. Outside of China, the device would not stand a chance on the market without the Google services. Too strong is the competition with other manufacturers who definitely integrate the popular apps.
130 licenses requested, none approved
The current state: According to a Google spokesman, the Mate 30 will have to do without the so-called Google Mobile Services. The US government's "temporary general license" to sell US technology to Huawei does not apply to new products.
The background is a US government blacklist of Chinese companies whose business dealings with US partners are under strict scrutiny, allegedly because of concerns over national security. However, US President Donald Trump himself had suggested that Huawei could be blacklisted under a trade deal with China, which again had nothing to do with national security.
Google would therefore have to apply for its own license for certain products to equip the Mate 30. According to Reuters, so far 130 US companies have applied for such a license to trade with Huawei in the US government, but so far there is not a single permit. Whether Google is among these 130, the company spokesman wanted to say, although Google had announced in June to continue to work with Huawei together.
For Huawei, that would be the preferred solution. Company spokesman Joe Kelly told Reuters, "Huawei will continue to use Android and its ecosystem if the US government allows it, otherwise we will continue to work on our own operating system and ecosystem." This refers to HarmonyOS, which Huawei had introduced to the public at the beginning of August.
The Mate 30's processor is no problem, however. The Kirin 990 microchip will be presented next week at the Ifa in Berlin and is based on designs by British manufacturer ARM. Although ARM also broke off its relationship with Huawei because parts of its technology were developed in the United States. However, Huawei claims to have an unlimited license to use the ARM design for its chips.