Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro was announced with much fanfare. An innovative camera system, improved displays, and evolving charging technologies show Huawei is still at the top of its game. It was even surprising to many that Huawei would hold a launch event at all since the US-Huawei ban has barred Huawei from shipping the new flagship with Google services.
That didn’t stop Huawei – it stuck to its guns and announced the phone with or without Google’s support. Interestingly, Huawei has not yet revealed European availability for the Mate devices but still revealed retail pricing in Euros. Huawei will gradually release the Mate series on a market-by-market basis, but Yu doesn’t reveal any specific markets.
In an interview with the press, Richard Yu addressed some of the concerns about how the Mate 30 will launch without Google services. When asked about availability, Yu confirmed that Asia will be the first markets to get the phones. Yu explained that customers in Asian and Middle Eastern markets will still buy the phones without Google services because the device is so great. He also mentioned that carriers will still sell the devices, even with these limitations.
When asked about Google services, Yu replies that “There are also a lot of third-party apps and places where you can download any app”. Indirectly, he was saying that you could technically sideload Google services on the device, but for obvious reasons, Huawei can’t preinstall them.
Users will still be able to download apps, but they just won’t officially come from the Play Store, but rather, from Huawei’s alternative App Gallery. “That’s not good for Google,” explains Yu. “…we’ve contributed a lot to many US companies.”
In order to “encourage the developers to work with Huawei”, developers get to keep 85% of revenues when they published their apps on Huawei’s App Gallery. “We have no other choice… we were forced to do this… companies, partners, carriers also understand us.”
If the situation were to change overnight, Huawei could potentially bring back all Google services to affected markets as easily as sending an OTA update to devices but given the ongoing China-US trade war between governments, it remains uncertain when that may be.
Meanwhile, Huawei sales are doing well in China as phones made specifically for China don’t need Google service anyhow. Yu says everyone loves the phone with the best camera, best performance, best design, and best 5G.
Although 5G still isn’t widely available in many Western markets, China is well ahead of the race with 5G available throughout most of the country. Looking to next year, Huawei plans to launch midrange devices with 5G support so more consumers can benefit from the new technology.