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Huawei enjoyed a pretty successful 2019 despite the trade ban, as it was able to certify and launch several devices with Google Play Services before the ban kicked off in May. But it was always a question of bracing for 2020, and it seems like the firm is expecting a significant downturn in fortunes.

Now, The Information has reported (h/t: Engadget) that Huawei expects smartphone sales to drop by up to 20% in 2020 primarily due to the trade ban. The outlet says the information was shared with several managers in its consumer division, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

In fact, The Information‘s sources specifically say that the anticipated decline is due to much weaker expected sales in Europe and other foreign markets. The outlet reports that Huawei expects sales of roughly 190 million smartphones in 2020, versus just over 240 million in 2019.

Trade ban takes effect

Huawei Mate 30 Pro Huawei Logo

This news wouldn’t be a surprise though, as Huawei was able to certify plenty of devices for Google Play Services support prior to the US trade ban in May. Devices that made the cut for Google support include the P30 flagship series, the budget-focused P Smart 2019, the pop-up toting Y9 Prime 2019, the Nova 5T, and several Honor devices.

It was therefore able to lean on these certified devices when the ban took hold, keeping foreign consumers and retail partners happy. But 2020 will mark the first full year of no new devices receiving Google Play Services support (if the current situation stays the same throughout 2020).

Instead, Huawei is running its Huawei Mobile Services platform on the devices. So it’s not a surprise that it reportedly expects weaker sales, as it’s forced to either ship new devices without the Google services framework or rebranded older devices that have been certified.

Either way, consumers looking for a Huawei phone are stuck having to choose no Google Play Services but with 2020 hardware, or last year’s hardware with Google services. And with rival brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, and Oppo offering Google support and new hardware, it’s clear that Huawei will be on the back foot.

All eyes will be on Huawei’s P40 series launch on March 26, which will be the first P-series flagship family without Google support. It also follows the Mate 30 series launch as the second flagship without Google certification. But the P40 series is expected to see a wider launch than the Mate 30 family, marking the first truly big test for Huawei.

Would you buy a P40 series phone without Google support if it met all your hardware expectations? Let us know in the comments!

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