• The Huawei P40 launch event will go forward on March 26, although the Chinese smartphone vendor will unveil the phone via an online-only presentation because of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The new phones will likely launch in Europe in the weeks following the event, with the P40 Pro model being Huawei’s best answer to Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra.
  • A new rumor from China claims that the P40 series might be even more expensive than previous flagships, in spite of the phone’s huge software problem — the P40 will not have any Google apps preinstalled.
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There was no Mobile World Congress event this year, as coronavirus prompted its sudden cancelation last month. But several smartphone makers have unveiled plenty of new devices in the past few weeks, including several interesting Galaxy S20 challengers from Sony, LG, Oppo, and Vivo. Samsung can be considered the unexpected winner of these extraordinary circumstances, having scheduled its Galaxy S20 event a few weeks before MWC was canceled.

But the most significant Android-based Galaxy S20 rival wasn’t even expected at the trade show. We’re talking about the Huawei P40, which should have been unveiled during a press conference in Paris, France, on March 26th. But the COVID-19 outbreak changed that. The reveal event will still happen on the same day, but Huawei will deliver its keynote online, where it will be streamed on YouTube and other social networks instead. And a brand new rumor suggests the Huawei P40 might have the same problem as the Galaxy S20.

The worst thing about the Galaxy S20 is the sky-high price, an unexpected change from last year’s Galaxy S10 series. Starting at $1,000, the cheapest Galaxy S20 is more expensive than the iPhone 11. Some of Samsung’s most prominent rivals from China have already unveiled new devices that will be much cheaper. But Huawei’s P40 series, once rumored to be even less expensive than its predecessor, might be just as expensive as the Galaxy S20.

According to a report out of China (via GizChina), the 8GB/128GB Huawei P40 might cost €999 in Europe, with prices going up to €1,249 for the 8GB/512GB version. The Huawei P30 started at €799 last year, so we’re looking at a €200 price hike if this report is accurate. Also, if these are the rumored prices for the regular P40 phones, the Pro will be even more expensive.

The Huawei P40 series might have better specs than its predecessor, as well as a better design when it comes to the P40 Pro, but that alone might not warrant a price bump. Unlike the P30 series, which shipped with Google’s version of Android on board, complete with all the popular Google apps, Play Store included, the P40 will not have them. The P30 Pro was the last Huawei flagship that shipped with the regular Android version on board. Then, the ban that the US imposed on Huawei forced the Chinese smartphone maker to replace all of Google apps with alternatives, including an AppGallery storefront.

It goes without saying that, no matter how massive Huawei’s undertaking might be, and no matter how much cash it’s ready to pour into a mobile ecosystem devoid of Google services, Android users in Western countries might have a tough time adapting to this new Android experience. Add a price hike to that, and an upgrade to the P40 or P40 Pro might be an even tougher proposition for buyers in Europe.

The region is one of Huawei’s most important markets outside of Asia, and that’s why all of these prices are listed in Euro rather than dollars. Even before the ban, Huawei had a hard time selling Android phones in the US, as very few retailers stocked the latest Huawei flagships.

As always, this is just a rumor and should be treated accordingly. The P40’s price may have leaked, but it could be fake. Huawei’s P40 announcement will start streaming at 2:00 PM CET (9:00 AM EST) on March 26th.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.