Huawei’s new phone is about to go on sale, but it won’t come with YouTube, Gmail or Google Maps.
The Chinese company will launch its latest smartphone, the Mate 30, in Munich, Germany, later this month. It will be Huawei’s first smartphone series to hit the market since being put on a trade blacklist by the United States, which cut off its access to Google (GOOGL) apps and services for new products.
The world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and No. 2 smartphone brand has been pressured by a US-led campaign against its business.
In May, Washington placed Huawei on a list banning US companies from selling it tech and software. That meant Huawei couldn’t do business with key suppliers like Intel (INTC), Micron (MICR) or Qualcomm (QCOM) or software partners like Google and Facebook (FB).
Huawei anticipated that crackdown and stockpiled supplies, but it couldn’t hoard software. The company had secured Google licenses for several smartphones before it was placed on the US blacklist. But the Mate 30 series wasn’t one of them.
The Mate 30 launch was first reported by Reuters.
Google declined to comment.
Huawei said Google’s ecosystem — including the Android operating system that powers most of the world’s smartphones — remains its “first choice.”
But the company has developed its own ecosystem and operating system called Harmony, which it unveiled last month.
The Mate 30 could still launch with Android, which is open source. It just won’t have access to popular apps like YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail, or to the Google Play Store where Android users can buy new apps. Without those services, Huawei devices become a lot less attractive to smartphone users in markets outside China, where Google apps are already mostly blocked.
“It will be a major challenge for Huawei to market the Mate 30 family to consumers in Europe,” said Ben Stanton, a London-based senior analyst at research firm Canalys. “The omission of Google services from a major flagship smartphone is unprecedented.”
The question, he said, is whether Huawei’s hardware will be good enough to justify the loss of Google’s apps on the phone.
“I suspect that many who might have chosen Huawei before will find this a compromise too far,” Stanton added.
Earlier this year, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said global smartphone sales fell by 40% in the month after the US ban went into effect.