Despite increased US government scrutiny and a pared-down launch of its previous flagship smartphone, the Huawei P40 is slated for a release in Europe and other overseas markets, sources familiar with internal policies told The Information.
Europe, yes, but it’s not clear if Huawei’s launch plans includes the US, as the government’s Huawei Ban led to Google shutting the Chinese company’s future phones out of Google Mobile services including the Play Store and first-party apps like Maps and YouTube. (Phones up and until the Huawei P30 line still have access.)
The Huawei Mate 30 line was the first to be frozen out of Google’s family, and subsequently, the phone neither launched in the US nor does it have a release date in the UK.
While the US government has given successive temporary Huawei Ban reprieves to rural ISPs – ostensibly to give them time to wean off Huawei – the cutoff from Google’s services forced the Chinese company to develop their own alternatives. Huawei was surprised to discover how dependent Android apps are on Google’s own tools for authentication, notifications, integrating mapping and ad revenue, according to The Information report.
So Huawei is developing its own internal replacement tools, which the company presumably needs third-party app developers to integrate into their software to get them working on future Huawei devices. Despite Huawei’s outreach and reportedly generous offers of assistance to do so, it’s a steep undertaking.
A ticking clock: the P40 launch is expected
It’s a big ask for western developers to adjust their apps for a single phonemaker which, despite their enormous sales in China and outstripping Apple in terms of unit sales, still struggles to be adopted in the large US and UK phone markets. Not onlt that, but Huawei faces reduced competition in China, as the country’s government has banned Google Mobile services for awhile, forcing phonemakers to develop their own workarounds and integrate them with the open source Android platform.
But the clock is ticking: the Huawei P30 Pro line launched in March 2019, which is the traditional window for the P-series of phones, and if Huawei is going to secure developer participation in time for a more confident launch ‘in Europe and other overseas markets’ as The Information’s report notes, the company only has a few months to get it done.