At Google I/O, Chinese device maker Huawei was one of the 12 Google partners whose devices joined Google’s own in being part of the trial phase of the next version of Android, 10.
The Huawei smartphone that joined the Android 10 beta programme, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, is now missing from the list of devices in the programme on the Android developer website through which developers (and even ordinary users even though that’s not exactly the case with Huawei which has been restrictive) wishing to test-drive the new software before its final release have been either directly enrolling to do so or being redirected on where to do so.
While no explanation has been provided for the device’s removal from the list by either Google or Huawei, it is not so hard to figure out what’s happening.
As we recently captured, Huawei finds itself caught up in the escalating trade war between the United States of America and China, its motherland. The US government has put the company on an “Entity List” meaning that it cannot source for parts, trade or engage in any business with American companies until those companies are cleared to do so and issued with a license by their government.
That move led to Google halting any relations with Huawei and, as a result, kicking out the company from the licensing programme for its mobile operating system, Android, which usually guarantees such things as access to Google’s own applications as well as software updates. In effect, that has meant that going ahead with things like beta testing Android Q on the Mate 20 Pro becomes a challenge.
A statement from Huawei provided by its Kenyan office regarding the situation assured users of continued software updates to existing devices.
“Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering those have been sold or still in stock globally,” the statement read in part while playing up the company’s role in contributing to the growth of Android around the world.
With the US government issuing a temporary license that allows Huawei to continue supporting its current device lineup hours after Reuters‘ revelation that Google had revoked Huawei’s Android license sent shockwaves around the world, it is not clear if the Mate 20 Pro will be re-listed or if it will continue being part of the Android Q beta test.