Huawei confirms Mate 30 launch despite questions over Google App use

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Huawei has confirmed it will unveil its next flagship smartphone in Europe later this month, despite suggestions from Google that it won’t be able to use its apps and services on the new device.

The company has said it will reveal its new Mate 30 Series of phones at an event in Munich on September 19.

The event comes despite suggestions from Google last week that under current US trade restrictions on Huawei, the Chinese company cannot be sold with Google licensed apps such as Google Maps or Gmail.

Huawei uses Google’s Android operating system to power its smartphones.

The Chinese firm was effectively blacklisted by the US government in May amid allegations that it was a threat to US national security because of alleged close ties to the Chinese government – something Huawei has always denied.

A temporary licence issued since then does allow some trade with Huawei, and for it to maintain and apply updates to its existing devices running Android.

US companies are able to apply for specific products to be exempted from the ban, but Google has not said whether it had applied for any such licences.

As a result, it remains unclear what software will be used to power the Mate 30 line-up of phones.

Last week, Huawei said it would “continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the US government allows us to do so”, but confirmed it would continue to develop its own operating system as an alternative.

In August, the Chinese firm unveiled its own operating system – HarmonyOS – for the first time, which it said it could use if it was no longer able to access Android in the future.

Huawei has previously moved to reassure existing customers that their devices would continue to function and receive updates as normal, launching a page on its website called “Huawei Answers” where it said it was “confident” its existing phones would receive the next major update to Android – known as Android 10 – which is due to be released in the coming weeks.

The website says security updates, the validity of warranties and the ability to access apps would continue to function as normal.

However, that website does not mention the company’s plans beyond that and for future major phone launches, of which the Mate 30 Series will be the first since the trade restrictions came into force.

Chris Price
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