Unless the U.S. folds like the Mate X, Huawei's niche phone will not use Google's version of Android

Unless the U.S. folds like the Mate X, Huawei's niche phone will not use Google's version of Android
The foldable Huawei Mate X was originally going to launch this summer. Then, after the Samsung Galaxy Fold launch was temporarily postponed, the Mate X was pushed back to September and then November. It's not like we haven't seen the device appear since it was first unveiled in February. In July, photos showing Huawei consumer group chief Richard Yu holding the revamped Mate X revealed that the hinge and the camera module have both been reinforced with carbon fiber (or a material that looks like carbon fiber). After influencers had problems with Galaxy Fold review units, Huawei decided to make some revisions to the Mate X.

Unlike the Galaxy Fold which closes inwards, the Mate X closes outwards. This allows the device to sport two displays when the device is closed; there is a 6.6-inch front screen with a resolution of 1148 x 2480. The rear display weighs in at 6.4-inches and carries a resolution of 892 x 2480. When the Mate X is fully open, it becomes an 8-inch tablet with an AMOLED display carrying a nearly square resolution of 2200 x 2480. Originally expected to be powered by the home grown Kirin 980 chipset, Huawei has decided to equip the device with its latest cutting-edge Kirin 990 SoC, which includes an integrated 5G modem.

One analyst says that the ban could lead Huawei to ship 30 million fewer phones out of the country this year


Even after you throw in 8GB of memory, 512GB of storage and a 4500mAh battery, you still have to wonder who will pay the equivalent of $2,600 USD for this phone. That is especially true now that it appears as though the Mate X will not be licensed to use the Google Play services version of Android. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, neither the Mate 30 series nor the Mate X will be able to use this version of Android because of Huawei's listing on the U.S. Commerce Department's Entity List for security reasons; this prevents Huawei from accessing its U.S. supply chain which includes Google. It also means that Huawei's new phones won't be able to use Google's core apps like Google Maps and Gmail. Earlier today, we told you that Huawei is reportedly in talks with ProtonMail about using its encrypted email app as a replacement for Gmail.


The report notes that Huawei's sales outside of China are bound to be impacted by the lack of Google apps on the Mate 30 series and the Mate X. One analyst in China says that overseas shipments will drop by 30% this year. Considering that last year's tally of 206 million handsets shipped was pretty much divided in half between deliveries in and out of China, the ban could cut shipments by 30 million phones in 2019. Another report, from researcher IHS Markit, predicts that Huawei will ship 13 million fewer phones outside China this year delivering a total of 88 million handsets outside of the country. For the first half of this year, the company was able to ship 118 million units, good enough for second place worldwide and ahead of Apple.


Without the ban, the manufacturer was expected to take over the top spot from Samsung during the fourth quarter. But that was based on strong global sales of the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro. Sans the Google Play services version of Android driving the line, those outside of China might not be as interested in the device. Inside China, Huawei is expected to continue blowing away the competition especially with a renewed sense of patriotism from Chinese consumers. Nonetheless, about three weeks into the ban, Huawei admitted that it wouldn't be able to catch Samsung this year.

The Mate X was never expected to really contribute to Huwaei's rise to the top when it was first introduced in February. That's because the foldable phone segment of the smartphone market remains unproven and expensive. And it also is a 5G phone which limits its usefulness right now anyway. Surely Huawei doesn't plan on rolling a large number of Mate X units off of the assembly line. The Mate 30 range is another story altogether. How well each of these models do will give Huawei an idea about its future without Google.

Related phones

Mate X
  • Display 8.0" 2200 x 2480 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin 980, Octa-core, 2600 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB + Nano Memory (NM)
  • Battery 4500 mAh

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28 Comments

1. tangbunna

Posts: 480; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

when Trumps see china is "greater than usa".

4. sgodsell

Posts: 7336; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

China never allowed Google search from day one. That's why they have Baidu, which is the biggest search engine in China. Baidu also sells more smart speakers and smart displays, than Google now. Google has no products for sale, or in use in China. The only thing in China from Google is AOSP. Which China takes and heavily modifies Android to make it their own, and put their own twist, backdoors, or anything else, on their forked version of Android. No play store, only Huawei's version of Android. Huawei is going to see a lot bigger drop in sales, than 30%. It's why I don't trust Oppo anymore (OnePlus), because they used a forked version Android call Oxygen OS.

5. Cyberchum

Posts: 1063; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Oxygen OS, a forked version of android? So 1+ phones don't come with Google play services? It's hydrogen that is forked, AFAIK, not oxygen. And 1+ wouldn't sell a phone with the former to you outside China. Neither is an OS, though, just UI skins.

7. Ashoaib

Posts: 3282; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

US could do the same by banning chinese software in usa. Like Google and Facebook are banned in china. So does all chinese software and forked versions of android should be ban in US. Thats very simple and easy. But US being US, they have to be bully. They have to pull the leg of every successful tech company which is not theirs. They have banned huawei in a way which will damage it and will take away a good option of mobile phones from consumers. Now the real victim of this drama are people like me. Who are neither american, nor chinese and will be spied on one way or the other. Either by US or by China. So false security concerns about huawei doesn't bother me. When I am ok with US spying through apple, google, facebook, amazon, whatsapp and list goes on n on. Then I have no issue with huawei either.

8. QuantumRazer

Posts: 115; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

So you don't trust OnePlus because... they used Hydrogen OS that is a forked version of Android only in China(It's not Oxygen OS, btw)? What are you even saying, I don't see how those 2 statements are logically connected to each other.

3. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Imagine paying $2000+ and you may not even be able to watch YouTube videos. Good thing that have the entire fire bending nation behind them or Huawei why be another one of Thanos victims.

18. OneLove123

Posts: 1046; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

You could just go to youtube.com

9. drunkenjay

Posts: 1664; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

dead upon arrival

10. monoke

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

If u fold it at 90 degrees, it could be used as a book stand also. So u do get what u pay for and more!

29. jiangqiushi

Posts: 17; Member since: May 28, 2019

LOL, or you can just buy two Apple's mac stands.

11. Mikele

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Let's wait, the future of Huawei starts on 19th September 2019! Rethink possiblities is on the horizon either you love or hate them. The advance innovations and strengths on their photography provenance has come to stay for good no rivals would be able to match it

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22000; Member since: May 28, 2014

Totally agree with you about Huawei’s strength and innovations. Huawei has made innovations in the smartphone space and their photography prowess is second to none, IMO.

25. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 107; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

This is awesome. I hope Huawei can never use Google services again. They deserve to be punished

30. jiangqiushi

Posts: 17; Member since: May 28, 2019

But Google doesn't agree with you...it hurt huawei in the short term but hurt google in the long term

28. banglazbless

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 05, 2014

Aww! Too bad. The garbage should stay where it belongs; in China. Google should rid Android of all those Chinese spam. They make the platform cluttered and un-appealing

31. jiangqiushi

Posts: 17; Member since: May 28, 2019

Obviously Google doesn't agree with you.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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