Huawei has confirmed that its upcoming Mate 30 series smartphones are set to be unveiled on September 19.
But the excitement for the new phones have been tainted thanks to confirmation that these will be the first Huawei smartphones that won’t run Android apps.
Despite the Chinese tech company being placed on a Chinese blacklist and not being allowed to do business with US companies, Huawei is still moving forward with the release of the Mate 30 Pro.
— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) September 1, 2019
A Google spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the upcoming Huawei smartphones won’t be able to run Android apps. This means that lots of widely used apps, including Google Maps will not be offered on the device. In fact, they can’t run any apps currently on the Google Play Store.
As an alternative, a new operating system has been created for future Huawei devices called Harmony OS. It remains to be seen whether it is a viable alternative to Android, or if the smartphone brand are able to successfully convince app developers to create a version for Harmony.
Huawei are currently the second largest smartphone brand in the world ahead of Apple. But if Harmony is deemed a failure and people stop buying Huawei products outside of China, it could affect their worldwide popularity.
No matter how good the hardware is on the upcoming release, if you can’t use some of your favourite apps on it then users will just turn to an Android alternative.
This is exactly what happened with the Windows Phone, first released by Microsoft in 2010. The mobile operating systems became unpopular when they didn’t have certain apps that users wanted. Huawei could end up going down the same route.
With regards to the Mate 30, the device is rumoured to have four cameras on the back with curved waterfall edges. The device may also be able to support 5G connectivity.
It’s unclear whether Huawei will be able to convince users to buy their phone with the absence of Android. We’ll have to see the reaction to the device launch in Munich later this month.
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Matt Weston is a lover of electric cars, artificial intelligence and space. From Cornwall, he’s a UCLan graduate that still dreams of being a Formula One driver in the very near future. Previously work includes reporting for regional newspapers and freelance video for the International Business Times.