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Mate 30 Pro will run Google’s Android at launch, unless the ban forces Huawei to resort to plan B

Published Aug 22nd, 2019 7:31AM EDT
Mate 30 Pro Release Date
Image: Huawei

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Huawei is widely expected to launch its Mate 30 series this fall, with some rumors saying the press conference may come as soon as September 19th. The phone will run Android right out of the box, and the 90-day reprieve extension that was announced earlier this week seems to confirm that Huawei will have access to Google’s Android long enough to launch both the Mate 30 Pro and Mate X. Once these devices become official, Android updates will continue to drop regardless of whether there’s a ban in place from the US government. In case you were worrying about the possibility of having HarmonyOS run on the Mate 30 Pro flagship at launch, you should know that Huawei doesn’t plan to launch a Harmony phone anytime soon unless the ban really does get enforced.

Huawei launched its multi-platform operating system a few weeks ago, revealing the first Harmony device will be a Smart TV made by its sub-brand Honor. Harmony will also power a smartwatch soon, according to what Huawei’s Senior Vice President Vincent Yang.

The exec told CNET that the company has no plans to launch a Harmony phone in the near future. Instead, Huawei wants “to maintain one standard, one ecosystem.”

That’s Google’s Android, of course, the operating system that buyers want on their devices, especially in western countries where Huawei has a massive presence.

Even if it’s faster and better than Android, per Huawei’s remarks during the operating system’s launch, Harmony has two huge problems. One concerns apps, as Huawei will need time to build an equivalent to the Play Store. More importantly, Harmony phones will lack Google services, which is what Android buyers really want, especially on a high-end phone like the Mate 30 Pro. Secondly, Harmony has to prove that it’s as secure as Android so that Huawei can quash spying concerns from western governments.

Harmony is a Plan B for smartphones, however, and Yang confirmed as much. But that will only happen if the US government ends up enforcing the ban.

Yang hinted that an upcoming flagship will run Android, and that’s probably the Mate 30 Pro, which should drop before the Mate X foldable. The exec said if it comes to switching to Harmony, Huawei will wait until the last minute to pull the trigger.

If that were to happen, it would only affect hardware that hasn’t reached the market. Huawei explained recently that it’ll keep updating Android on any smartphone that’s already available to consumers.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.