International

Huawei To Roll Out New Smartphone Line Despite Ban

Huawei smartphone, Mate 30, trade war, China, U.S., Google, Android

Huawei Technologies will carry out its plan for a new high-end smartphone in Europe even without access to Google’s Android operating system and apps, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Aug.28). 

Sources told the news outlet the firm will move forward despite the U.S. ban and will unveil its new Mate 30 line of phones on Sept. 18 in Munich.

The new phone will use the Kirin 990 chipset, which will be announced on Sept. 6 by Huawei Executive Director Richard Yu at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin.

This is Huawei’s first smartphone launch since President Trump blacklisted the company in May on grounds the company was a threat to U.S. national security. Huawei denies the accusation. 

A Google spokesman said Huawei’s new phone cannot be sold with the licensed version of Android and associated Google apps and services, according to the report.

“Huawei will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the U.S. government allows us to do so,” Huawei spokesman Joe Kelly said in the report. “Otherwise, we will continue to develop our own operating system and ecosystem.”

An open-source version of Android can be used but Google’s apps can only be used under a paid license. Huawei also developed its own mobile operating system — Harmony — but experts doubt it can replace Android. 

“Without Google Services, no one will buy the device,” said independent analyst Richard Windsor. 

Regardless, Huawei said it has “no doubt” it’s going to meet Germany’s security requirements for 5G networks, Werner Haas, Huawei’s German chief technology officer, said in June. 

Germany has decided to reject the U.S.’s requests to ban Huawei on mostly security-based grounds. The country has instead leveled the playing field so that it can choose the best vendor for what it needs. The requirements involve specific criteria like the encryption of sensitive information, and the strength of a network — in terms of strength to withstand an attack.

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