Huawei Needs To Replace GMail For Mate 30 and Upcoming Phones

A man uses his phone as he walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing
A man uses his phone as he walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing, China, December 19, 2018.
(Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Huawei is said to be already in talks to replace Gmail for its Mate 30 series and subsequent phone offerings. The company is reportedly unable to license the Google Play services version of Android for these newer phones.

Based on the comments made within Google, which were passed along to Reuters late last month, Huawei is said to be looking into another operating system right now because it was not able to license the Google Play services version. This, despite the fact that it was able to introduce HarmonyOS just back in August.

Among possible replacements, the company is said to have several options: an open version of Android or Saltfish. Both have their pros and cons, as reported by Phone Arena. The open-source version of Android is similar to the forked version being used AMazon and its Fire tablets while Sailfish could be good but has security features that are five years behind that of Google Play. Saltfish is somehow similar to the MeeGo OS that was placed on Nokia N9 when it was released in 2011.

Because of the US ban against Huawei, those who will purchase Mate 30 will not have access to core Google Android apps such as Gmail, Drive, Maps, YouTube, and many more. This is a dealbreaker for many, which is why this is such a big issue of Huawei right now. Although these apps have their corresponding replacements, such as ProtonMail for Gmail, many might still not like it.

At present, Huawei is in talks with ProtonMail to add an encrypted email service on the upcoming phones. The email application could either be pre-installed or offered within the company's AppGallery app storefront. ProtonMail's chief executive officer already confirmed the said talks happening but did not say what the outcomes of these negotiations were, whether Huawei will be able to use or not use the app. Also, because ProtonMail is incorporated in Switzerland, it is not prevented from being a supplier of Huawei.

On the other hand, even though many will not like the idea of using ProtonMail over Gmail, there are benefits to using the replacement. According to PRotonMail, Gmail has privacy issues. The company accuses Google of not respecting users' privacy and a free app like Gmail profits from selling user data to advertisers.

Still, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Charles Shum already predicted the negative impact that Huawei will experience with its sales if the Google Play services version of Android will not be accessed through its phones. Expectedly, sales outside of China might be cut in half over the next 12 months.

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts