Huawei is currently blocked from including Google apps and services on its smartphones, but if the trade ban was lifted, would it go back to the full Android phone? It depends on who at Huawei you ask. Update: Huawei Australia weighs in with its own hopes for a Google future.
Last year's biggest telco story without a doubt was the US executive order that forbid US companies from supplying Huawei with their services, software or hardware.
The largest hit that Huawei took in a consumer sense was the removal of supply of Google apps and services for their upcoming phones, leading to the situation where the Huawei Mate 30 Pro launched here in Australia in a Google-free state.
Now, that executive order could always be rescinded, but what happens then? Technically speaking, Huawei would be as free as any phone maker to contract with Google to include its apps and services on its devices. It may even be able to supply full OS upgrades for devices like the Mate 30 Pro to include them again.
But would it? It seems that's up for debate, even at Huawei. As WinFuture reports, Huawei's country manager for Austria, Fred Wangfei speaking to Der Standard stated that the company would prefer to stick to its home grown, Huawei AppGallery approach so as to not become further embroiled in the ongoing US/China trade war.
That's pretty definite, right? Maybe not.
"An open Android ecosystem is still our first choice, but if we are not able to continue to use it, we have the ability to develop our own," an unnamed Huawei representative told 9to5Google
This is basically what the company said it would do around the time it first started talking about developing HarmonyOS. However, you could be mistaken for being confused there, because at first Huawei's presented vision for HarmonyOS was that it was indeed going to be its all-singing, all-dancing OS for, well, everything Huawei related, before walking back that statement and saying it would stick to Android for the time being.
So we reached out to Huawei Australia for comment. This is what Huawei Australia representatives told Gizmodo Australia:
"We currently do not have visibility of the upcoming US Entity List decision. Regardless of the outcome, we do wish to continue our strong partnership with Google, alongside our commitment to further investment in HarmonyOS and Huawei Mobile Services."
It's not surprising that Huawei finds itself in the position of having to take a both-ways bet in these circumstances, really. I guess all we can do is wait and see if the entity list decision is reversed, and quite what Huawei wants to do when and if that happens.
Two months after its global launch, Huawei has finally announced the Mate 30 Pro for Australia. But this isn't like any other 'launch' we have ever witnessed before. Only a handful customers will get the device and they have to register their interest first. This includes 200 words on their favourite Huawei feature, favourite memory with a Huawei device and what excites them most about the Mate 30. All for a phone that won't include any Google apps of services.