We are so used to Google services in our smartphones that we even allow ourselves to complain about their dominance and omnipresence. But smartphone manufacturers do not share this point of view. And when geeks' dreams come true, it becomes a problem for manufacturers.
CEO Huawei Richard Yu at the Mate 30 launch.
Photo: Matthias Schrader (AP)
Original material by Tom McKay.
The recently released Huawei Mate 30 and Mate Pro 30 boast a lot of upgraded components, including additional cameras and edge-to-edge bezel-less screens, while making a huge trade-off: due to the ongoing trade war between the US and China and due to blacklisting Huawei of the US Department of Commerce (for national security reasons) Huawei was forced to switch to Android open source and cannot supply these Devices with preinstalled Google apps and services. This means there is no Play Store, which leaves buyers limited to their own alternative app store Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).
However, the company Huawei came up with a workaround: due to the cancellation of the decision previously made in May 2018 to ban unlocking the bootloader of their phones, users will be able to unlock the bootloader in Mate 30 series devices. The company has confirmed this information to AnandTech and Android Authority.
“We limited [bootloader unlocking] because we wanted to ensure more security for consumers,” said Consumer Group CEO Huawei Richard Yu in a statement to Android Authority. “But this time, we'll give consumers more freedom to make more customizations on their own. Therefore, we plan to allow consumers to do this. '
While this is not a perfect solution for Huawei or its customers, unlocking devices will make it much easier to install Google Play services on them and provide something that resembles a complete user experience. According to a statement by Android Authority, it is not entirely clear how this process will work and to what extent Huawei will support unlocking:
Unfortunately, Richard did not specify how this process will take place. Will the Mate 30 series come with an unlocked bootloader right out of the box? Do users need to figure out for themselves how to unlock the bootloader and then spread the word on the XDA developer forums? Could Huawei post detailed instructions online on how to unlock the bootloader Huawei of the Mate 30 Pro to make things easier? The company was unsure of any of these options.
The Android Authority noted that since unlocking the bootloader and downloading apps from external sources may be beyond the technical capabilities of the average user, it is unclear if this capability would matter to anyone other than a few enthusiasts Huawei, and whether it will impact sales of the Mate 30 series. According to Anandtech, due to the significant investment Huawei in HMS (for example, a fund to reward developers of $ 1 billion and a commitment to levy apps commission is half that of Google) in the long term, Google may suffer more than its Chinese competitor.
Android The Authority announced that Huawei has an ambitious target to sell 20 million Mate 30 phones; its successful P30 and Mate 20 series had access to the Google ecosystem, and it's hard to predict whether the Mate 30 series will sell as well without it. The US Department of Commerce has repeatedly extended the grace period introduced to facilitate the reorientation Huawei and American companies before the full blacklist takes effect, and it's no secret that this grace period will end soon (and the grace period only applies to old products, not new, including software updates). Yu told Anandtech that Huawei will 'immediately' restore access to Google services and updates if the company's sanctions are lifted.
'Huawei has already built a strong brand in Europe and I am confident there will be a market for any new products given the Huawei good track record of stylish designs and cutting edge features like like multiple cameras with great zoom, ”Ben Wood, head of CCS Insight, told the Guardian. “However, the lack of Google services will prove to be a major problem for customers. There is also a risk that consumers will buy a new one Huawei and then find that it falls short of their expectations and change their minds. '
Original material by Tom McKay.
This forced experiment to cut out “unnecessary” Google services, in which the Chinese company has become an unwitting participant, will show us in all its glory the consistency of the position of especially stubborn geeks who claim that Google services are unnecessary and only harm.
It seems to me that this 'experiment' was doomed to failure even before it began, since the mass consumer is simply not ready for such turns. The trouble is that most users want the device to work out of the box, without having to make some magical passes over the purchase, and are used to using the opportunities provided by the availability of Google services, such as data synchronization, mail, cloud storage of photos, etc.
This situation once again shows us how fragile the world we consider to be familiar is, and how important it is to be able to do more than just push buttons.
I wonder how Huawei will come out of this situation and how it will affect users. Stocking up on popcorn.