Honor is working on new smartphones and they are reportedly getting an Android version with access to Google software. Since 2019, Honor was not allowed to release devices with Google approval due to a political trade dispute. Honor was from Huawei, but has recently a new owner.
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Again Honor smartphones with Google software?
Huawei has been blacklisted by the US government since May 2019 and has since been banned from doing business with US companies, including Google. The trade restrictions also apply to subsidiaries. Honor was one of those companies. In the past eighteen months, Huawei and Honor have released smartphones without Google software (GMS) and with the self-developed HMS.
The devices do run on Android 10, but lack the Google Play Store, cannot run Google apps and Huawei / Honor cannot or will not guarantee an Android 11 update. Because the sales figures fell sharply, Huawei sold Honor to a new Chinese owner in November.
That new owner is not on the American blacklist. Honor may therefore work with Google again to install the certified Android software on new smartphones, the Russian reports Kommersant. This source is usually right. If Honor is indeed allowed to release ‘normal’ Android devices again, it can compete better with other brands.
Honor V40 5G without Google certificate
The first new smartphone will be the Honor V40 5G, but it is still being developed under the Huawei flag. The device therefore seems to be running an Android version without GMS and with HMS. The Honor V40 5G is a high-end smartphone that will be officially presented on January 22 and will cost six hundred euros in China. It is not yet clear whether the device will come to the Netherlands later.
Because although it is clear that Honor will again focus on Asia, it is still unknown what the manufacturer wants to do in Europe. Under Huawei, the brand was active in many European countries – including the Netherlands – with its own webshop and partnerships with providers and (web) stores. That is hardly the case now.
Uncertainty about European plans
Competing brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme have benefited from the fall of Huawei and Honor. The big question is whether Honor will try to regain its market share or whether the new owners decide to ignore Europe (for the time being).
More clarity about this is expected in the coming weeks, when Honor announces its new smartphones.