Direct from Munich – A Huaweirenewed the Mate line with enhanced cameras for filming, faster processor and a huge OLED screen with sharp curvature in the most expensive model, but there is a problem: the Kill 30 it’s the Mate 30 Pro cannot come with any Google apps, due to American sanctions. How will the company handle this? The CEO tried to explain the situation.
Despite not being an obstacle in China, where Huawei continues to sell well, the absence of the Play Store is serious in the West, where the dependence on the search giant (and American companies in general) is greater. Since the Chinese manufacturer is barred from doing business with Google, Facebook, Uber or Twitter, it is difficult to even popular its own app store, AppGallery.
So it is not surprising that the Mate 30 release schedule around the world… does not exist yet. As the GSMArena, CEO Richard Yu confirmed that Mate 30 will initially be sold on the Asian continent, as acceptance of an Android without Google is greater in that region. In Europe, another important market for the brand, smartphones do not even have a forecast for launch, although prices have been revealed on stage in euros.
Huawei’s Latin American subsidiary has also changed its media strategy. Until then, when a new premium smartphone was launched, as in the case of the P30 Pro, test units were supplied to specialized vehicles right after the global launch event, which also streamlined the production of reviews. This time, the product will be borrowed only in the countries of the respective journalists at an indefinite time in the future.
Yu also stated that “there are many third party apps and places where you can download any app”, a reference to alternative stores to the Play Store, such as Aptoide – which claims to have more than 200 million active users and pay developers more, charging a maximum of 19% commission for in-app purchases, versus 30% or 50% from other stores.
Huawei studies unlocking bootloader of Mate 30 and 30 Pro
But the problem goes deeper: certain applications are dependent not only on Android’s open source APIs, but also on proprietary Google components, which need to be licensed. The most obvious example is games: some require you to install Google Play Games in order to run. The same goes for streaming media services or using Google maps. So, how is it?
In that case, you need to install Google Play Services. As the Android Authority, the only way to do this on a Mate 30 or Mate 30 Pro, which does not bring any Google components from the factory, is with an unlocked bootloader. It is not enough to simply download an APK from a random website and install it as if it were a regular application.
Huawei has been discouraging users from unlocking the bootloader of their smartphones since last year, with the justification that the practice of installing an alternative ROM can cause “system crashes, crashes, poor battery performance and risk of data compromise” . Well, it looks like this is going to change.
“We limit [o desbloqueio de bootloader] because we wanted to guarantee more security for consumers. But this time we will give users more freedom so that they can make customizations on their own. So, we are planning to allow consumers to do this, ”says Yu to the Android Authority – without explaining exactly how the unlocking process would work.
The bottom line is that not even Huawei hit the final hammer in its launch strategy for Mate 30 in Europe or the Americas. For now, the company is struggling with what it has: a cell phone that promises to take impressive photos, record in ultra-slow camera and reach speeds in 5G that no other device can. But with software that needs skirmishes to function properly in the West.
And, as I said in the hands-on, a company of this size cannot survive in the West selling to half a dozen tech enthusiasts with thousands of dollars in their pocket to buy a smartphone – for the average user, it is better to simply go to the store and buy a device that works.
Paulo Higa traveled to Munich at the invitation of Huawei.