Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro is official now, and it will be the first major smartphone from the company destined for western markets without Google’s services on board. While Huawei can’t do too much to allow users to get around that – lest it draw more ire from the US Government or Google – it can do a little.
That little appears to include allowing users to unlock the bootloader. While consumers might not understand what that means – and probably wouldn’t ever do it – for enthusiasts like us, that’s the magic phrase that means we’ll be able to (fairly easily) install the Google services we want on the Mate 30 Pro when it comes to Australia.
Huawei consumer boss Richard Yu confirmed to reporters after the Mate 30 launch that bootloader unlocking will be available:
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.
While great news for enthusiasts, it’s still not great for consumers, and given how many Android users rely – to some degree – on Google’s apps and services to make their smartphones useful, many are predicting the Mate 30 Pro won’t sell as well as its predecessors.
However, Huawei is unfazed. Yu confirmed some admirable goals for the Mate 30, even with the lack of Google apps. In discussion with Android Authority, Yu said that the company expects the device to ship roughly 20 million units, while acknowledging most of those sales will be in China (where Huawei devices never had Google apps to begin with).
20 million devices – given the P30 series’ 16 million units shipped – seems like a difficult target to reach, given the P30 easily sold in western markets with broad appeal.