US companies were banned from doing business with Huawei last year that forced the Chinese company to release its new phones without Google services. This exclusion now means that phones made by Huawei that do not have Google services will not receive the ‘contact tracing system’ that Google and Apple are working on to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The system was to be reportedly implemented through software updates from both companies to their devices, but because of the ban, a lot of Huawei phone users will be left out of this update.
According to a report by The Telegraph, users who have newer Huawei phones that come without Google apps and services will not be able to use this tracking tool that is being developed for a global rollout. However, presumably, the older Huawei phones that were sold before the ban will still be able to make use of this tool but as of now, this cannot be confirmed.
The ‘contact tracing system’ uses Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) for proximity detection to identify people who have been infected by coronavirus and other people they have come into contact with. More details, along with Apple and Google’s note, can be found in our report.
Talking about how many people will be affected by this development, Huawei is among the top three smartphone manufacturers in the world and by fourth quarter of 2019, the company had reportedly shipped more than 56.2 million smartphones. However, it is unclear how many of them had Google Mobile Services and Google apps out of the box.
The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, Huawei Mate Xs, Honor V30 series, and Huawei P40 series are some of the Huawei phones that do not come with Google apps and rely on Huawei’s own app store called App Gallery. These phones won’t be getting the Google and Apple contact-tracing app.