Huawei admits the lack of Google apps for its Android operating system has been more challenging than it initially admitted. In an interview with the Financial Times, Huawei’s Joy Tan, vice-president of public affairs at Huawei US, said that while they were able to use Google’s Android, they were unable to actually enable desirable apps run on their handsets.

Google’s Android is open-source and developers are free to install it on any device. However, yo get access to the Google Play Store, an OEM needs to get a Google Mobile Services certification from Google itself which provides access to the Play Services runtime. More than just the app store, this provides a variety of frameworks like maps, payments and so on. Apps plug into these to run making it hard for OEMs to even ditch Google if they wanted to. For Huawei, their challenge runs deeper. Not only are they prohibited from using Google, they aren’t allowed to use any app which originates from the US in their app store. Huawei is working on Harmony OS, but she admits it would take some time to fully replace Google. Personally, not sure it’s possible outside China. Just ask Microsoft how Windows Phone went, Huawei should know.

Ms Tan told the Financial Times that despite their efforts, they had been unable to secure a meeting with either the executive or the legislative branch of the US. Firms like Google did lobby for Huawei’s sake and there are some signs of a thaw in the ice, but nothing’s materially changed for the smartphone business.

Going forward, Huawei’s flagships still can’t use Google’s services, and that’s crippling.

Source: Financial Times