The Huawei Mate 30 series is set to arrive without Google support, as the U.S. trade ban against Huawei continues. The lack of Google support means you’re still getting Android, but without the likes of the Play Store and Gmail.
Thankfully, Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu told reporters at IFA 2019 that it might have a workaround on-hand.
Yu said that the firm has been investigating the ability to let Mate 30 owners install Google apps on the AOSP (i.e. non-Google) version of Android. So how will these users install Google apps, then?
The Huawei executive says the process would be “quite easy” for users, noting that the open-source nature of Android enables “a lot of possibilities.” Yu also noted that third-party developers have been working with them on possible solutions, as Huawei itself is unable to provide Google Mobile Services on new products due to the ban.
This wouldn’t be the first time a manufacturer tasked users with installing Google services instead of offering pre-installed support.
Chinese brand Meizu previously allowed users to install Google services via an app store pre-installed on its phones. This could therefore be one workaround for Huawei if/when the Mate 30 series hits the West without Google support.
A solution like this could potentially introduce new security concerns, as users might need to enable side-loading. And we’ve already seen cyber-criminals take advantage of Fortnite (which needs to be side-loaded) to offer malware. So Huawei and its partners will need to adequately and thoroughly explain all steps to install Google apps on the Mate 30.
What else to know?
Yu noted that we could “maybe” see a leather-clad Mate 30 series phone on September 19. He added that cost, as well as water- and dust-resistance, were two main challenges with a leather-backed smartphone.
The executive also said Huawei was targeting 300 million smartphones shipped in 2019 if it were not for the trade ban against the company. Yu said Huawei was eyeing 90 million devices shipped in Q4 2019 prior to the sanctions.
“But we still can consolidate the top two position (sic),” the Huawei executive noted. Yu added that he thinks Huawei can still hit the number one position in the future.
The representative also said Huawei could launch the Mate X foldable phone as soon as next month, with a Kirin 990 variant under consideration too.