HUAWEI IS TAKING a big gamble with its next flagship phone series.
The Huawei P40 range is expected to be announced formally at MWC Barcelona in February, ahead of a March launch in Paris, but Richard Yu has let slip to Frandroid that there won't be the "will they won't they" over its relationship with Google.
It's currently still prevented from using Google's Android operating system with Google products embedded by the US government's ‘entity list' which has blocked trade access with companies including Huawei and ZTE, which the feds believe are a clear and present danger to national security.
There's a chance that Google will have an exemption licence by then - Microsoft already has one - but Huawei isn't taking any chances.
It will launch with the AOSP version of Android - the open-source version that doesn't have any Google embellishments and will instead offer its own Huawei Mobile Services under a hood based on EMUI 10 - its customised UI for Android 10.
That stops short of its custom Harmony OS, which it says won't appear on phones for a whole.
Noises coming out of Shenzhen suggest that the Huawei P40 range would mark a departure from previous design language - but that contradicts leaks appearing this week that puts it somewhere between a Samsung Galaxy and an iPhone - plus ca change.
When the Mate 30 range was launched last year, also sans Google Services, it was expected to mark a massive tanking in Huawei's fortunes.
But sales data suggests that's been far from the case, with sales in its home market of China more than making up the shortfall from the US and Europe.
Some Chinese citizens say that they now buy Huawei products out of national solidarity, and as China doesn't have access to Google Services anyway, they're really not bothered about this whole trade war business.
Huawei has also trailed new Matebook laptop computers at MWC. They'll run Windows under the Microsoft exception licence. μ
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