An Offical Google spokesman said that “The Huawei Mate 30/Pro cannot be sold with licensed Google Android, apps and services due to the US ban on sales to Huawei.” Huawei’s Mate 30/Pro does not do Google! Well, the Mate 30 Pro is now being sold in Australia.

Buyers need to be aware that Huawei’s Mate 30/Pro does not do Google – it does not run Google Android 9 or 10, has no Google security or OS updates and cannot access Google Play apps at all – like Maps, Calendar, Gmail etc.

So, it is official – Huawei’s Mate 30/Pro does not do Google ANYTHING. Instead, users can access Huawei Mobile Service that includes the Huawei AppGallery, Huawei Browser, Huawei Assistant and 45,000+ apps. Please check that any Australian or US-based apps you must have (banking, loyalty cards, insurance etc) are available before purchase.

Huawei’s new Mate 30 Pro (Australian website here) runs an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) of Android 9 and it is Huawei’s responsibility to issue any security patches or updates that it, not Google develops.

Features include

  • Dual 40MP Cinecamera for Ultra-Low-light, Ultra-slow Motion and Ultra-Wide-Angle Time-lapse.
  • DxOMark Camera score of 121
  • 6.53-inch ultra-curved screen replaces buttons by side-touch controls
  • 4500mAh battery (40W SuperCharge is an optional cost extra)
  • EMUI10 operating system
  • Always-On-Display (AOD) where the colour of the lock screen changes throughout the day
  • Dark Mode brings enhanced night legibility
  • AI Gesture Control for contactless screen interaction
  • HUAWEI 3D Face Unlock and In-screen Fingerprint
  • $1599
Huawei’s Mate 30/Pro does not do Google

Future fallout?

The Mate 30/Pro uses its new Kirin 990 SoC developed by HiSilicon using designs from British chip designer ARM Holdings, owned by Japan’s SoftBank.

ARM severed relations with Huawei after the US ban because its designs contain U.S. origin technology. But Huawei’s Kirin 990 design (as in the P30 series) predates the blacklisting of Huawei. Until resolution that is the last Kirin, indeed ARM-based chip Huawei can use. It can’t buy ARM technology, the basis of Android and iOS devices from anywhere else.

Reuters reported that the U.S. Commerce Department had received more than 130 applications from companies for licenses to sell U.S. goods to Huawei, but none granted.

This means Huawei will step up its research to meet the ‘Made In China 2025‘ mandate.

Clarity for existing Huawei owners

Essentially the US ban on Huawei applies to new products such as the Mate 30/Pro. Older Haiwei products should continue to have Google Android but the status of OS updates, e.g. 9 to 10 is still unclear as it may breach the US sanctions.

Current owners of Huawei smartphones – up to the P30 series – can continue to access Google Play apps. It is unclear if they will get further Android OS updates.

Google is providing monthly security patches that Huawei has to approve and roll out. Huawei’s support bulletin indicates that security patches are monthly or quarterly depending on the model. We are not sure what the state of updates is in Australia.

And that is not to say that if this debacle continues Huawei may offer current users other options. For example, it could convert existing phones to AOSP Android (or its own Harmony OS) and to its AppGallery. Or – you could be left with an ‘orphan’ product. Or it could declare that Google Android support is now, say, one or two years instead of the device’s lifespan. But we admit that is pure industry speculation.

Huawei’s Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei said, dismissing Washington’s campaign against it as ineffective.

“We don’t expect the U.S. to remove Huawei from the entity list. They may as well keep us there forever because we’ll be fine without them.”

GadgetGuy’s take – Huawei’s Mate 30/Pro does not do Google

Great device and one we would normally be coveting. But until the US Entity list issue is solved we cannot recommend devices without Google Android or Google Play services.

The future? Dependent on US/China politics.