In a bid to save its sub-brand from the supply chain woes that have imperiled its phone business in the wake of the US trade ban, Huawei sold Honor to a Chinese government-backed consortium in November of last year. Honor is now launching its first phone as an independent company in the form of the View40 along with a new brand strategy encapsulated by the slogan "Go Beyond."
One of the President Donald Trump's choicest adversaries during his term has been China. He considers the country to be a trade scofflaw while politicians in intelligence circles have pegged it as a digital security threat. Huawei has been targeted to be the biggest casualty from multiple sanctions that have blocked it from acquiring American goods and services. Now, as the current administration makes way for another, we're learning of one of its final moves symbolizing a door slam.
Based on internal documents from T-Mobile given to Android Police, some older devices, including the OnePlus One, Xperia Z3 series, and Nexus 9, will be unable to connect to the company's network beginning on January 29th. 19 devices, including phones, tablets, and even cameras, are named by the document. Affected customers will be notified by SMS beginning on December 28th, and will be able to upgrade to one of four phones for free.
The trade ban on Huawei by the United States finally took full effect in September, forcing Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, LG, and other hardware suppliers to stop selling to Huawei. Qualcomm has been pushing for an exemption to sell chips to Huawei, and now the company has been granted a limited license to do just that.
In the background of the election cycle, the U.S. trade war with China continues to rage with Huawei taking some of the most damaging mortars so far. It's unable to import anything even remotely American in nature and has had to make painful adjustments to its operations. One change rumored to fall out of this pivot was a potential sale of its subsidiary Honor. Now, we're learning more details about the multi-billion dollar deal that could land as early as this week.
Huawei just announced the Mate 40, but like any other recent phone from the company, it's crippled by the lack of Google apps. It's possible to install these applications and the corresponding services on Huawei and Honor phones, but until now, the process was tedious and involved dozens of steps. The aptly called app Googlefieris looking to change that — it doesn't offer a one-step solution, but it makes the process much more approachable with limited automation and step-by-step guidance.
At an online launch event today, Huawei CEO Richard Yu took to the stage to unveil the embattled Chinese company's latest flagship smartphone lineup. The Mate 40 series is without Google apps and services, and Huawei's App Gallery is also without a variety of other popular apps. So while the hardware is undoubtedly impressive, it's hard to get excited about a pair of devices that won't mean much to western audiences.