With Google Maps unavailable, Huawei turns to another mapping, navigation, and traffic provider

With Google Maps unavailable, Huawei turns to another mapping, navigation, and traffic provider
Since the middle of last May, Huawei has been on the U.S. Commerce Department's entity list which means that the manufacturer is banned from accessing its U.S. supply chain. Perhaps the biggest loss for Huawei has been its inability to license Google Mobile Services and Google Play Services for Android. As a result, Huawei phones from last year's Mate 30 series onward must use an open-source version of Android. Google apps like Search, Gmail, Drive, the Play Store, Maps and others cannot be used. In China, where most Google apps are banned, this is no big deal. But Huawei's international sales have suffered from the inability of the manufacturer's phones to run Google's base apps.

To replace the Play Store, Huawei is loading its international models with its AppGallery storefront. And Reuters reports that the manufacturer found a replacement for Google Maps. On Friday, mapping firm TomTom announced that it had signed a deal with Huawei. Under the terms of the deal, the company can use TomTom's mapping, traffic, and navigation software on its smartphones. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. TomTom spokesman Remco Meerstra said that both sides had closed on the deal a while ago but are just now making news of it public.

So far, Huawei has not been used as a bargaining chip during U.S.-China trade negotiations


TomTom is known for creating a new category, the personal navigation device (PND) which it launched in 2004. Over 80 million units were sold. In 2012, it entered into a deal that made the company the main provider of mapping data for the new Apple Maps. But this turned out to be a fiasco for Apple as the app launched half-baked with cities and towns mislabeled, countries missing, and directions not to be trusted. Things were so bad that Apple CEO Tim Cook issued an apology and did the unthinkable. He recommended that iOS users install a rival mapping service such as Google Maps while Apple improved its own version. While Apple did improve Apple Maps to the point where it could take you from point "A" to point "B" without incident, in 2018 it dropped TomTom and other third-party mapping vendors and decided to collect the mapping data itself.


Huawei models that do not use the licensed version of Google include the Mate 30 series and the upcoming P40 line. There had been hopes that trade talks between the U.S. and China would lead to the removal of Huawei from the entity list. President Donald Trump had hinted that the Chinese manufacturer could be used as a bargaining chip in an effort by the U.S. to obtain better terms for a trade agreement. But so far, with Phase One of a trade deal signed by both countries, Huawei apparently has not been mentioned. That doesn't mean that the company won't be brought up by U.S. negotiators in the future.

While Huawei is banned from accessing its U.S. supply chain, the company has ridden a wave of patriotism among Chinese consumers to dominate handset shipments in its home country. For example, during the third quarter, the manufacturer's phone shipments domestically soared an incredible 66% year-over-year. During the three-month period from July through September, Huawei's market share inside China was over 42% as consumers in the country considered it to be a victim of U.S. bullying.

Despite missing out on some global sales due to the ban, the company shipped a record 240 million smartphones last year. That topped estimates by 10 million and beat the 2018 figure by 16%. Still, the number shipped did fall short of the 300 million units that Huawei planned on delivering for 2019. And instead of surpassing Samsung, Huawei had to settle for second place behind the South Korean behemoth. Huawei did manage to top Apple and all things considered, the company turned in a sparkling performance business-wise in 2019. And now with the addition of TomTom's data, you might say that Huawei is mapping out 2020 as it continues to replace the components and software it cannot obtain from the U.S.

However, things could get worse for Huawei if the U.S. Commerce Department makes a change to the di minimis rule. The latter currently allows the U.S. to issue export controls on foreign-made goods if their value consists of over 25% U.S. origin parts. The Commerce Department is considering a reduction in that threshold to 10% which would mean that Huawei could have trouble sourcing components and software from foreign countries.

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18 Comments

14. Cicero

Posts: 1167; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

6 post out of 12 for meanestgenius. Plus 2 for venom. Good job boys on a Huawei article. Plain statistics.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Ah, when jealousy rears it’s ugly head.....

17. Cyberchum

Posts: 1152; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Exactly, man. Exactly! They love countering each other. Doesn't get old.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!

5. Cat97

Posts: 2087; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

It's actually excellent news for all countries that the US monopoly on many tech domains is reduced.

8. Venom

Posts: 4137; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Here's the thing though, Android is flexible and more intuitive. ios is just everything Apple. With Android, you have the option of customizing to your liking as long as you don't try to gut the Google services. Companies like Samsung and LG are prime examples.

10. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

HarmonyOS is just as flexible and intuitive as Android is, and early reports have stated that’s it’s faster as well.

16. Cyberchum

Posts: 1152; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

The early reports, some from Huawei officials, that have changed many times already Like you talking up the Mate 30 series supposedly debuting with HarmonyOS? I want a third viable OS as any real pro-tech guy would, but man, are you over-cheerleading? Damn, yes!!! Every Huawei article, same or similar narrative. A little chill would be cool.

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

I’ve only seen news confirming what I’ve said about HarmonyOS. I’ve never said the Mate 30 Pro would debut with HarmonyOS, so stop with the false narrative. So me wanting a viable 3rd OS to break up this boring duopoly is “over-cheerleading”? You sound ridiculous. I comment on articles of things I use the most. I support what I use, and I counter BS, false narratives, and fear mongering. I don’t log in to troll what I don’t use, like most do here. You don’t see me commenting on Sony articles because I don’t use their smartphones. You don’t like it? Move along. It’s that simple.

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei has also been launching it’s latest smartphone offerings strategically in order to losses, which will undoubtedly help in the long term. Here are a list of countries that Huawei’s Mate 30 series has been launched, as it’s not just in China: COUNTRIES: China – Huawei Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro, Mate 30 5G, Mate 30 Pro 5G, Mate 30 RS Porsche Design Malaysia – Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro The Philippines – Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 pro Singapore – Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro Spain – Mate 30 Pro Australia – Mate 30 Pro New Zealand – Mate 30 Pro Indonesia – Mate 30 pro UAE – Mate 30 Pro and Mate 30 Pro 5G France – Mate 30 Pro Italy – Mate 30 Pro Germany – Mate 30 Pro Portugal – Mate 30 Pro Romania – Mate 30 Pro Poland – Mate 30 Pro Source: https://www.huaweicentral.com/huawei-mate-30-series-launch-countries-list/

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei has been successfully finding alternatives for Googles apps, building out their own services (HMS, which has more than 570 million users), and rapidly growing developer support for their own apps and services (they have over 1.01 million developers worldwide). Now they have the means to build their own mapping and location services in TomTom. I have said this before, and will continues to say it: If any company can build a successful alternative to Android and it’s ecosystem, it’s Huawei. They have the resources, and have been doing things (like getting an alternative to Google maps) that I don’t recall other vendors that had alternative OS’s doing. Huawei will suffer losses in the short term. No question. But I just don’t think the losses will be as much as people think, and in the long term, they will be successful with their alternative to Android and it’s ecosystem. Kudos to Huawei for pushing ahead and not just crumbling in the face of this BS political propaganda ridiculousness that it’s unjustly caught in the middle of.

4. Chinda3

Posts: 41; Member since: Mar 14, 2014

I definitely agree it's disgracefully the way Huawei have been treated by the USA (with Trumps political vendetta) Unfortunately Googles Android and Apple IOS operating systems dominate the global smartphone market. And will remain so for year's, maybe even decades to come.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Oh, it’s no question that breaking up the duopoly will be tough, to say the least. But if and when HarmonyOS by Huawei takes off, and if others like Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo jump on board as reported, we will have a viable 3rd OS in the game.

7. Venom

Posts: 4137; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. I am killing myself laughing at the ludicrous thought of some cheap knockoff OS is going to be able to outdo Android and ios. HarmonyOS is not the first nor the last. It's just the latest that's being overly exaggerated by Huawei apologists because Huawei's reputation as a shady company caused them to be ousted from Android.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

What’s even funnier is that despite the naysayers, Huawei is on its way to do what others have failed to do, which is create a viable 3rd option. The Huawei Hate Brigade is so afraid of Huawei being the ones to do this that they will log into every Huawei article posted and attack Huawei at every chance they get, much like you are doing now. And it wasn’t anything that Huawei did that “ousted” them from Android, as not one single country that has thought Huawei is spying has ever produced any solid evidence to say so, especially the U.S. And for the record, your precious Google themselves have been fighting to keep Huawei using their version of Android. Kinda speaks volumes about how Google really feels that this is all BS political propaganda as well, lol.

11. QuantumRazer

Posts: 243; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

...and here's some quality hate comment from Venom as always. Are you still heartbroken over your ex-girlfriend i.e. Nexus 6P?

13. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Lmao I’m glad someone else knows the truth about him and his hate for Huawei.

1. Papa_Ji

Posts: 930; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Go huawei.... you can f*** all these spying US companies.

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