Huawei will release more phones without Google in Europe and beyond
The Honor 9X Pro will come with Huawei Mobile Services -- and without Google Maps
Huawei has been spending a good chunk of time polishing its replacement for Google services ever since the US blacklisted the company last May. Now it looks like China’s top smartphone brand is ready to bring the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem to more new phones sold overseas.
Phone makers have been taking launch events online after this year’s Mobile World Congress was canceled over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. Honor’s new phone will come with HMS -- which includes Huawei’s own app store and cloud storage, among other apps and services -- as well as Huawei’s own Kirin 810 chipset.
Huawei has been selling its flagship Mate 30 series without Google apps and services preinstalled since it launched last September -- a challenging task that hurt its overseas sales, according to research firm IDC. Huawei’s regional websites are warning customers that the phones may not come with the usual apps they expect, such as Google Maps and YouTube.
“The Huawei Mate 30 Pro uses the EMUI interface and Huawei Mobile Services (HMS),” a message on Huawei’s French website reads. “This means that Google services and apps are not integrated with Huawei Mate 30 Pro and that some of the most popular third-party apps are not available for download.”
In Europe, where Google is extremely popular, Huawei and its vendors have tried to sweeten the deal for the company’s handsets with various special offers. The Mate 30 Pro, finally set to go on sale this week in the UK, will ship with a free pair of Huawei’s wireless earbuds and a free Huawei smartwatch.
In response to our inquiry, Huawei said it has no further comments about plans to bring Huawei Mobile Services to more phones.
Despite the difficulties, Huawei is resolved to stay in international markets.
Late last month, it rolled out an improved version of HMS to phone users worldwide. As of November, the company says its app store, called AppGallery, has more than 390 million active users worldwide -- still a small number compared with Google Play, which surpassed 1 billion monthly active users in 2015.
The Chinese giant says it’s holding a launch event on February 24, when it’s expected to unveil smartphones, PCs, tablets and Internet of Things products. The company has also planned to take the wraps off its next flagship smartphone -- the P40 series -- in March in Paris.