I’m currently in the market for a new phone, but with no Google services or apps, I won’t be buying a new Huawei. Is it game over for them in the west?
I’m going to need a new mobile phone soon. Like many, I’ve got a Huawei, a P30 Pro, which I love. But now Huawei has reached the end of the road in its dealings with Google – and that’s a big problem
Last year, US president Donald Trump put the Chinese company on the ‘entity list’, which in effect banned US firms from working with it.
That was over concerns Huawei is too close to the Chinese government (although there’s no evidence of Huawei abusing its consumer or network infrastructure kit to spy).
Services and security
One effect was to stop Google supplying its apps and services to Huawei phones and tablets. You might think you could manage without Chrome, Gmail and YouTube, but Google services underpin many other apps.
For example, CityMapper needs Google’s location services to work. More importantly, Google’s Play Store gives a vital security update and oversight service for Android and Google’s own apps, and all the apps supplied via Play.
An Android phone without Google is less secure and has many fewer apps. Phones from Huawei and Honor (its sub-brand) with Google apps on them will still work, but Google will no longer push updates out to them, although Huawei will update its own services on those phones.
Yes, it’s confusing.
Hobbled without Google
Nonetheless, Huawei has recently launched the P40 and Mate 30 phone ranges. They’re beautiful phones with great cameras, but they’re hobbled without the Google apps and services.
The usability and security issues created by the absence of Google Play mean I can no longer recommend Huawei devices as things stand.
Will Huawei and Google work together again if Joe Biden wins the US election? It’s possible, but I’m not optimistic.
Huawei says it’s poised to add Google services to its phones again, but with the mistrust of Beijing generally and Huawei in particular, I think it’s game over for Huawei in the west.
I’ll be buying a new phone shortly – and it won’t be a Huawei. Would you still buy one?