Tekaw – Huawei is confident in the future without Google of its mobile phones in Portugal. In a presentation of the brand’s strategy for 2020, this Tuesday in Lisbon, the Chinese company was satisfied with the results obtained in the country during 2019. “One in three smartphone owners chose Huawei”, said to journalists Shen Yun, responsible for Huawei’s consumer unit in Portugal.
Despite US restrictions, Shen Yun shared with the PUBLIC that the “focus is to continue using the open Android service” , which is close to what users are already used to. By the end of the first quarter of 2020, all Chinese branded mobile phones in Portugal should be able to work with EMUI 10, which is Huawei’s interface for Android and which does not have Google applications.
With the Chinese company on Donald Trump’s “black list” since May last year – a group of entities to which American companies cannot provide services or products for security reasons – the new Huawei devices have been barred from using various services from the Google. This includes Android updates that Google develops, developer tools and the app store.
As an alternative, Huawei is opting to use an open source version of Google’s operating system , which is available to anyone or company. Although in early August, the Chinese company introduced a new operating system for connected devices (smart speakers and televisions, for example), called Harmony OS, Shen Yun says that mobile phones should continue with the new version of Android.
In November, Huawei started making the EMUI 10 available to owners of some of the brand’s devices to install in Portugal. The option should reach other devices by the end of March. “Initially we launched the EMUI 10 for a limited number of devices to understand the reaction of consumers”, explained Shen Yun to the PUBLIC. “The idea we have is that people are satisfied.”
The person in charge of the consumer unit in Portugal stresses that the changes are not so many. “Although the operating system does not come with Google’s YouTube application pre-installed, you can have the direct shortcut to the website on the mobile phone’s desktop,” said Shen Yun. “It works in almost the same way. We are not telling people to use an alternative to YouTube. ” Likewise, users can continue to access Google Maps. “Only they can’t save locations,” he explains.
Win apps for the Huawei store
In order not to miss the rest of the apps on the Google store, Huawei has been contacting app developers around the world for several months, including in Portugal , to have them available on the App Gallery. It is the Chinese company’s alternative to Google Play, the popular Google application store that this year was barred from Huawei’s new products due to sanctions imposed by the U.S. The company adds that it already has close to 70 Portuguese applications in the store – the aim is to have the 175 most popular applications by the end of March.
Here, Shen Yun says that the great difficulty is the programmers who develop applications with Google tools , such as Google Maps or the Firebase service , a system for sending notifications developed by Google.
Huawei says it has been working with developers to find solutions. “Our recent partnership with TomTom is to solve this problem. We were left with the idea that it is to create a specific alternative to Google Maps, but in fact it is to create a tool for programmers ”, explained Shen Yun about the partnership between the Chinese and the Dutch company TomTom, known for its devices and services satellite navigation. “We want to give an option so that anyone who creates applications for Huawei App Galery can develop services with location systems without relying on Google services.”
With the launch of the new Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro tops (the first without Google) in September, the brand also announced a $ 1 billion (more than € 903 million) fund to encourage developers to create applications for the App Gallery.
During the presentation on Tuesday, Huawei also took the opportunity to present a reinforced investment in 5G, noting that there are more than 50 contracts to use the technology of the Chinese company worldwide, namely in the European Union. Despite pressure from the United States, Brussels refused to ban Huawei from 5G – the security plan for the fifth generation mobile recognizes that there are risks of interference from countries outside the European Union, but keeps the market open to all suppliers. (Tekaw)