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Is Huawei’s Worst Google Nightmare Coming True?

The soap opera that is Huawei’s loss of Google software and services from its new smartphones has taken twist after turn in recent weeks. We had been warned (by Google) that the new flagship Mate 30 Series would launch without full-fat Android, but we had also been promised (by Huawei’s consumer boss Richard Yu) that workarounds would be found. To cut a long story short, the device did launch without Google, workarounds were then found, but then those workarounds were taken away.

All of which kind of leaves us back where we expected to be—Huawei continues to launch great devices, those great devices don’t carry Google, most analysts expect sales outside China to take a massive hit as a consequence. But, in reality, it’s not that simple. And what has actually happened could be even worse than it seems for Huawei, with the consequences not yet fully understood.

The Mate 30 has become the focal point for this on/off Google apps story. But what happens to the Mate 30 will impact the forthcoming Mate X and anything else after that until the U.S. blacklist changes. Just ahead of the Mate 30’s September launch, Android Authority reported that Yu had told the media Huawei “might have a workaround on-hand” to recover Google functionality, that the process would be “quite easy,” that “the open-source nature of Android enables ‘a lot of possibilities’, and that third-party developers had worked on workarounds for some time, given that “Huawei is unable to provide Google Mobile Services on new products due to the ban.”

Today In: Innovation

I asked Huawei for an official statement at the time, regarding Yu’s comments, to be told that the official word from the Consumer Business Group is “we can’t comment on that.” In private, it seemed there was internal nervousness at being seen to flaunt the ban, enabling workarounds to be publicly applied to the devices.

And, sure enough, despite Huawei confirming on launch the lack of Google Mobile Services, essentially the framework to which Google apps attach, the internet was soon abuzz with videos and tutorials on the use of a Chinese app to sideload all those familiar Google apps back onto the device. Notwithstanding the security concerns in giving a Chinese language app of uncertain origin access to a phone’s core system, the workaround was widely welcomed and we seemed to be back to business as usual.

Meanwhile, reports from China, where the Mate 30 first launched, suggested the devices were flying from the shelves. Helped by a steep price cut and domestic pride in a national champion, a million devices quickly shipped and Huawei’s plan to shore up any hit to international sales with strong demand at home seemed fine.

But then, quite suddenly, everything changed.

The app that was being used to enable the after-market Google load on Mate 30s is LZPlay—available on some app stores and from LZPlay.net. On loading, it seeks permission to access hidden system settings, opening up Google “stubs” deep within Huawei’s version of the Android open-source core to enable apps and services to be installed. With some exceptions—notably Google Pay—everything seemed normal.

                                    

But then came the inevitable deep-dive into that app—what was actually happening under the phone’s covers. Cue John Wu’s Medium post. It transpired, according to Wu, that for LZPlay to work required “undocumented Huawei specific MDM APIs,” implying that the use of such APIs were “signed with a special certificate from Huawei, granted privileges nowhere to be found on standard Android systems.”

In essence, the implication was that Huawei was sanctioning or overlooking the app restoring banned Google apps and services onto Huawei devices. “Wait a minute,” Wu asked in his post, “does that mean either Google is sneaking the stubs to Huawei, or Huawei is blatantly stealing Google’s stub binaries?”

                                     

And Wu’s answer? “It is pretty obvious that Huawei is well aware of this LZPlay app, and explicitly allows its existence. The developer of this app has to somehow be aware of these undocumented APIs, sign the legal agreements, go through several stages of reviews, and eventually have the app signed by Huawei. The sole purpose of the app is to install Google Services on a non licensed device, and it sounds very sketchy to me, but I’m no lawyer so I have absolutely no idea of its legality.”

                                     

All of which has resulted in the workaround being withdrawn from the market. LZPlay is no longer available. Any installs from before it was pulled no longer work. And, more intriguingly, “devices that used LZPlay to install GMS no longer pass ‘SafetyNet Attestation,’ rendering many apps and services unusable.”

And so to the real issue for Huawei that will start to become clear when the dust settles on this on/off story. Whether Huawei was aware or unaware, whether Google was involved or uninvolved, the fact is that the addition of Google Mobile Services will now fail to pass a security and verification test on the device—unsurprising, given the device is unlicensed. And that suggests no other workaround will be forthcoming.

And that will be a major issue for the future of Huawei’s smartphone business outside China. It will also make it impossible for users inside China to deploy the Google workaround that was designed for their market—because if the Mate 30 can’t be after-market updated outside China because of the U.S. blacklist, then it cannot be after-market updated in China either. The restriction on Huawei is not geography-specific. Chinese consumers who would otherwise buy Huawei devices and then add Google, deploying VPNs to use the restricted services, will not be able to do so.

                                    

This story is moving all over the place right now—albeit it’s becoming more difficult to see significant changes without U.S. approval. What we do know is that Google has apparently slammed the backdoor to the Mate 30 shut, enforcing its lack of license, ensuring that even if the GMS stubs remain they cannot be enabled. And it’s a safe bet that those stubs may well be pulled altogether.

Huawei confirmed to me that the “latest Mate 30 series is not pre-installed with GMS, and Huawei has had no involvement with www.lzplay.net.” But the implications of this latest twist could be devastating. It’s too soon to get a read on what might happen next, and there are no comments from Shenzhen, but we will know soon enough.

In the meantime, anyone who had planned to buy a dazzling Mate 30 and apply the “easy workaround” is now faced with a very different set of options.

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As the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers, a developer of disruptive AI surveillance solutions for defense, security and commercial organizations in the US, EMEA and Asia, I work with those responsible for national security, counter-terrorism and critical infrastructure protection. I have been in tech for 25 years, with the last 15 of those years in video surveillance, analytics, cybersecurity and AI. I write about the real-world challenges, opportunities and threats from technology advances that impact the defense and security sectors as well as cybersecurity more broadly. I also focus on the appropriate use of those technologies and the balance of privacy and public safety. Contact me at zakd@me.com.

Source: Is Huawei’s Worst Google Nightmare Coming True?

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Huawei Mate 30 Pro Leak Shows Stunning Design And Cool Features

Now the latest iPhones have been revealed, attention turns to Huawei. Its Mate 30 series is now the most highly-anticipated launch, for several reasons.

The unveiling takes place in Munich on Thursday, September 18, but a series of press renders have leaked, according to the ever-dependable Evan Blass.

There will be four phones in the series, the Mate 30 Lite, Mate 30 and the one we’re. concerned with here: the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The fourth will be the Mate 30 Pro Porsche Design, which is more of a niche model.

There have already been reports of exactly what the new Pro will look like, but the new images from Blass show greater detail of what could be Huawei’s most handsome phone yet.

Today In: Innovation

Here’s what to expect at the Munich launch.

Front and rear of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, it's claimed.

@evleaks

This is the bit we’ve seen before but the latest images look splendid. The circular bezel around the four cameras evokes a camera lens itself, so it’s a particularly satisfying piece of design.

And note that the cameras don’t seem to protrude very far at all, unlike almost every other smartphone out there apart from the Nokia 9 PureView.

The notch isn’t small – room for a second camera

The front-facing camera and other tech are sitting in a bigger cut-out than on the Huawei P30 Pro, for instance. This suggests that the new phone will have two cameras, designed to make face unlocking faster and more secure than on current Huawei phones. Perhaps secure enough to authorize payments? We’ll see, though remember the current Huawei flagships include a fingerprint sensor under the display so that’s likely here as well.

Is this the sumptuous waterfall edge to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro?

@evleaks

The display design is sumptuous

This is what’s called a waterfall display. No, there’s no actual water involved, it means the way the display cascades over the edges like, you’ve guessed it, a waterfall. It’s one of the things that makes the phone looks so gorgeous and appealing.

Only one button – so where’s the volume control?

There’s a simplicity to design with fewer buttons, especially since there’s no visible fingerprint sensor, too. But the only previous phone with barely any buttons, from LG, had big volume rockers either side of the fingerprint/power button. This doesn’t seem to, seeming to confirm a previous rumor that the volume controls, like the fingerprint sensor, will be buried under the display. Cool, huh?

And one big unanswered question

This kind of leak can’t answer the biggest question of all: what software will the Mate 30 Pro use? Unless something changes in the U.S.-China trade negotiations, it seems Huawei can’t use the full Google Mobile Services Android on its next phones.

Now, things are changing very quickly in this situation but I doubt there’ll be any movement before this week’s reveal.

So, don’t be surprised if there’s a gap between announcement and release or even if Huawei play things close to their chest.

It could choose to put its own Harmony OS onboard but it’s made clear that’s a back-up, not the first choice.

It could put open-source Android on the phone and find some way to make it easy for customers to add apps like Google Maps, Gmail and so on. That’s possible, too.

That may not be answered this week, but for everything else, not long until we know.

__________

Follow me on Instagram by clicking here: davidphelantech and Twitter: @davidphelan2009

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I’ve been writing about technology for two decades and am always struck by how the sector swings from startling innovation to regular repetitiveness. My areas of specialty are wearable tech, cameras, home entertainment and mobile technology. Over the years I’ve written about gadgets for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Sun, Metro, Stuff, T3, Pocket-lint, Wareable.com and Wired. Right now most of my work away from Forbes appears in the Independent, the Evening Standard and Monocle Magazine. Parenthetically, I also work as an actor, enjoying equally the first Mission Impossible movie, a season at Shakespeare’s Globe and a stint on Hollyoaks. Follow me on Instagram: davidphelantech, or Twitter: @davidphelan2009

Source: Huawei Mate 30 Pro Leak Shows Stunning Design And Cool Features

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Huawei Can’t Guarantee Mate 30 Will Ship With Android, But Will Be ‘Ready’ With Alternative OS

Huawei announced today that it had shipped 118 million phones globally (a figure that includes Honor devices) in the first half of 2019, a 34% jump from the same period last year. The phone sales accounted for more than 55% of Huawei’s total revenue of 401.3 billion yuan ($58.3 billion) for the first half of the year.

But Huawei’s Chairman Liang Hua concedes that the company’s strong performance was mostly supported by the momentum it had built over the past year (when it released a series of critically acclaimed phones), and that the second half may bring challenges.

“Our consumer business was growing rapidly before May 16, and since that day there has been some slowdown,” Liang told a group of reporters at the company’s Shenzhen headquarters. “And objectively speaking, we will face some challenges in the coming half.”

May 16 refers to the day the U.S. government officially added Huawei to its “Entity List,” which effectively banned U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei. This was considered a death blow to Huawei’s overseas phone business, as the company’s phones are reliant on Google’s Android operating system and other U.S. components.

The Trump Administration has since given Huawei a reprieve in the form of a less restrictive sales ban, and Liang confirms that suppliers are beginning to resume talks with Huawei.

But when asked if future Huawei smartphones will ship with Google OS with full support, Liang said that while the 5G Huawei Mate 20X is good to go because it had been in development since before May 16, “whether or not other upcoming phones can use Android will be up to the U.S. government.”

A Huawei staff member presents the company's first 5G smartphone, the Mate 20X, at a Huawei Store on July 27, 2019, in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province of China.

A Huawei staff member presents the company’s first 5G smartphone, the Mate 20X, at a Huawei Store on July 27, 2019, in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province of China.

Zhang Yun/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

Liang added that he remains confident the issues “will be resolved positively on all sides,” but that in the worst case scenario, the company is ready and will “keep fighting for the consumer business group’s survival.”

This includes an operating system that Huawei have been developing in-house in case it can no longer use Android.

I asked Liang specifically if the company’s next flagship phone, the Mate 30, will ship with Google, and if the phone will ship with the alternative OS if not. To which Liang responded: “If the U.S. government allows us to use Android, we will use Android. But if the U.S. doesn’t allow us, then we will turn to alternatives. As for how ready our OS is, you’ll just have to see with your own eyes.”

Liang spent the hourlong press conference mostly talking about the U.S. issues, but despite admitting that the blacklist has hurt Huawei’s phone sales internationally, he said internally, the company remained more united than ever.

“To the outside, this has been a tumultuous six months, but inside the company we see things as quite calm. In a way, the U.S. government’s pressure on us has helped us understand our objectives better and enhanced our cooperating internally.”

This united front seems to have been the attitude in the overall China market, too. While Trump’s attack on Huawei has dampened the company’s phone prospect internationally, in China, consumers seem to have united in support of Huawei. According to research firm Canalys, Huawei shipped 37.3 million phones in China in the second quarter of this year, up 31% over last year, and the only major brand among China’s top five to grow in sales. Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Apple all saw declining sales in the second quarter.

Still, Liang said the company’s strategy for the global market remains unchanged. The company will continue to seek open cooperation with global partners, and invest heavily into its own R&D. Liang said Huawei will invest 120 billion yuan in R&D this year.

“Our strategy with the global smartphone business remains unchanged,” said Liang. “We will continue to serve our smartphones to a global consumers. And we will continue to invest heavily in R&D.”

Attendees visit Huawei's booth at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2019 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center on June 26, 2019.

Attendees visit Huawei’s booth at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2019 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center on June 26, 2019.

Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images

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I’m a Chinese-American journalist in Hong Kong, covering consumer tech in Asia. Before focusing on this exciting beat, I was a general culture writer and editor with bylines in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, New York Magazine, among others. Feel free to email me at bencsin@gmail.com

Source: Huawei Can’t Guarantee Mate 30 Will Ship With Android, But Will Be ‘Ready’ With Alternative OS

 

 

OnePlus Cofounder Carl Pei On 5G And His Company’s Next Steps

The cofounder of smartphone maker OnePlus, and 30 Under 30 Asia alumni Carl Pei sat down with Forbes Asia at this year’s Under 30 Summit in Hong Kong.

After cutting his teeth at Chinese phone makers Meizu, and OPPO, Pei decided consumers deserved a better Android product. In December 2013, he set out with founder Pete Lau to do just that — build a feature-packed device that costs a fraction of market peers.

The OnePlus One was an immediate hit among the tech community online. Following a few years of blockbuster sales through e-commerce channels, his team is taking on a new challenge: shifting from direct to consumer models, to distribution through major telecom carriers.

The challenge, Pei says, is to build brand recognition and sell more phones offline through brick and mortar stores in Western markets, though OnePlus has been making headway starting with its 2017 venture into working with carriers in Europe, and just last year launching with T-Mobile across 5,600 stores in the US. The 29-year-old also weighs in on the future of 5G and the impact on the company’s product offerings.

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Pamela covers entrepreneurs, wealth, blockchain and the crypto economy as a senior reporter across digital and print platforms. Prior to Forbes, she served as on-air foreign correspondent for Thomson Reuters’ broadcast team, during which she reported on global markets, central bank policies, and breaking business news. Before Asia, she was a journalist at NBC Comcast, and started her career at CNBC and Bloomberg as a financial news producer in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Nasdaq. Pamela’s previous incarnation was on the buy side in M&A research and asset management, inspired by Michael Lewis’ book “Liar’s Poker”. Follow me on Twitter at @pamambler

Source: OnePlus Cofounder Carl Pei On 5G And His Company’s Next Steps

 

Appportunity – How To Start An App Business With No Programming Knowledge Or Whatsoever

You need to learn this “secret” in today’s new commerce economy – micro-transactions. It simply means this, people are happily spending the $0.99’s and $1.99’s all day long, regardless of whether there’s a recession or not. Obviously, those who can “predict” the future are going to make fortunes for themselves. I mean, you’ve heard stories of marketers who make $100,000 from this opportunity alone. The proof is already in our faces. And the truth is, it’s happening so fast. But the good news is it’s not too late for you to be a part of this “Internet reborn”. It’s like getting to start all over again at the ground floor opportunity – having the “second chance” to make it big. This time, it’s yours to take. Read more

Why are Apple Pay, Starbucks’ app, and Samsung Pay so much more successful than other Mobile Wallet providers? | Technology in Business Today

A new report from BI Intelligence addresses how in-store mobile payments volume will grow through 2021, why that’s below past expectations, and what successful cases can teach other players in the space.

Source: Why are Apple Pay, Starbucks’ app, and Samsung Pay so much more successful than other Mobile Wallet providers? | Technology in Business Today

Mobile Apps in India Require 45% More User Permissions for No Good Reason

https://www.pivot.one/share/post/5c109109016de714c7617fa5?uid=5bd49f297d5fe7538e6111b6&invite_code=JTOJYV

Sprint T-Mobile Merger: A Look At Some Of The Recent Developments – Trefis Team

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T-Mobile recently indicated that its proposed merger with Sprint could close by as early as Q1 2019, although it noted that Q2 remained more likely. Below we take a look at some of the recent developments relating to the $26 billion deal, which was first announced in April. Our interactive dashboard on what’s driving T-Mobile’s valuation details our expectations for the company through the rest of the year and the factors driving our valuation estimate. The merger between the two companies needs to be approved by both the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Federal Communications Commission…………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2018/11/20/sprint-t-mobile-merger-a-look-at-some-of-the-recent-developments/#1e441d6d35c5

 

 

 

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We Tried The World’s First Folding Phone, & It Actually Works – Nick Statt

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Samsung may be just days away from taking the wraps off its very own foldable smartphone-tablet hybrid, but consumer electronics company Royole has stolen a bit of its thunder with its very own flexible display device. Called the FlexPai, the 7.8-inch hybrid device can fold 180 degrees and transform from a tablet into a phone, albeit a bulky one. At an event in San Francisco this evening, Royole brought out a working version of the FlexPai that we actually got to hold, and the folding feature works as advertised. Granted, it feels miles away in quality from a high-end modern flagship, but it is still the first real foldable device I’ve seen in person, and not just in a concept video or prototype stage…….

Read more: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/11/5/18067116/royole-flexpai-flexible-display-foldable-smartphone-tablet-pricing-features-release-date

 

 

 

 

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Mobile Agency Apps – How You Can Tap Into The Insanely HOT Market By Selling Amazing Professional In Demand Mobile Apps

Your Complete  ‘Done For You’ Solution To Click, Build Amazing Apps – Includes Amazing Software, Ready Made Sales Video pages and much more. Social Media Is here to stay. We integrate with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. Point and Click integration. Encourage Repeat Business with Loyalty Card and Coupons. These are incredibly popular with food places but can be used in multiple industries. Send or schedule a push message to everyone who has downloaded your app. Target by Area. Provide clients with their own white label area and Create beautiful appointment forms – perfect for service based business. Collect leads in app with opt in forms…….

Read more: https://mobileagencyapps.com/

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