According to the New York Times, Huawei’s access to supply chain components from the United States could soon be restored by the Trump administration. As the ban on Huawei’s access to US products seems to be immanently lifted, the Chinese telecom could once again equip their smartphones with Google’s GMS (Google Mobile Services).
This would be a major coup for Huawei, as the loss of access to GMS had put off many users who rely on these services across the world, including major developed markets like Europe and North America. Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone release, the Mate 30, was unable to adopt GMS which sapped some of the momentum from the product’s launch. Some important GMS services include the Google Play Store, Youtube, Gmail. Recently, GMS conducted a survey in which 22% of respondents said they would reconsider a device without GMS, while 17% said they would like a discount for a non-GMS equipped device. The lack of GMS clearly reduces the attractiveness of the Mate 30, distracting users from the many positive aspects of the phone, which is otherwise an industry leading product. While Huawei independently developed its Harmony (or Hongmeng in Chinese) operating system, the new system requires time for users to become familiar, thus not entirely supplanting GMS.
Fortunately for Huawei, Tian Ming International analyst Guo Mingxi believes that roughly 70% of the sales for their new flagship Mate 30 occur in the domestic Chinese market, which is significantly less reliant on GMS services due to the restrictions on Google in Mainland China. However, in 2018, overseas shipments accounted for nearly half of their smartphone shipments, so the possibility of their access to GMS being restored will represent a significant windfall to their business.