Huawei recently added two new devices to its Mate series – Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro. The duo of the devices will ship without Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Search, and YouTube owing to the U.S. Commerce Department’s ban on Huawei. At the time of the launch, Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu said that Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro’s bootloader could be unlocked.
He said, “We limited [bootloader unlocking] because we wanted to guarantee more security for consumers. But this time we will leave more freedom for the consumers so they can do more customization by themselves. So we are planning to let consumers do that.”
However, no exact details were mentioned about how users can unlock the bootloader.
For the uninitiated, unlocking the bootloader allows anyone to load a custom version of Android by flashing the ROM. This way, users could flash a ROM running Google Apps.
Now, Huawei has retracted on its decision as a spokesperson from the Chinese smartphone manufacturing company has told Android Authority that there are “no plans” to unlock the bootloader on Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro.
Huawei’s U-turn could have a serious impact on its sales in the Western market where people would, usually, refrain from buying a smartphone sans Google apps.
The Chinese smartphone company has been working on its own operating system HarmonyOS which could replace Android if the need arises. However, the OS has faced harsh criticism from Chinese developers who feel that it is an unfinished product launched just for the sake of marketing.
It remains to be seen how Huawei will tackle the task of convincing users to buy a smartphone shipping without Google apps.