Ahead of the Huawei press conference in Munich on Thursday, Forrester analysts have shared their thoughts on the key themes and products they expect to come out of the event.

The comment of VP & Principal Analyst Thomas Husson takes a closer look at the likely new Mate 30 Series product range and at the challenges for Huawei to distribute its new flagship smartphones outside of China in the context of the technology trade war between the US and China. Principal Analyst Charlie Dai identifies a competitive advantage for China’s fast-maturing 5G market. VP & Principal Analyst Frank Gillett looks at emerging markets where buyers will tolerate the lack of the Google ecosystem in Android.

Thomas Husson, Vice President & Principal Analyst:
“The new Mate 30 smartphones are likely to demonstrate Huawei’s technology leadership. Packed with a powerful processor, latest features and technology specifications such as 5G, the new flagship smartphones could have competed with the latest iPhone 11 devices. Despite a better design for its user-interface built on top of an open-source Android version (e.g, EMUI), the total product experience won’t be on par for consumers, all the more 5G does not yet deliver differentiated consumer experiences. While the new devices will help Huawei compete in China – still the largest smartphone market in the world – the firm will struggle in Europe due to the lack of the Google Play Store. If consumers can’t easily access their favorite apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Google Maps and many more, retailers in some European countries may even be skeptical on the opportunity to distribute the devices. It will take time for Huawei to offer an alternative – not just to develop a smartphone-friendly version of Harmony OS but to foster a competitive ecosystem of brand and developer partners. This direct consequence of the US-Chinese trade war demonstrates the significant geopolitical impact of technology ecosystems.”

Charlie Dai, Principal Analyst:

“Huawei’s Mate 30 smartphone is expected to gain significant customer attraction and business success in China once again following its P30 series, attributed to its technology leadership – it will probably adopt a dual 40 million main camera solution with a super wide-angle lens and TOF 3D sensor lens, which will ensure excellent image quality that many Chinese consumers are looking for. It will also most likely be equipped with 7nm Kirin 990 chip with 5G Modem integrated into the SOC, which will become a competitive advantage for China’s fast-maturing 5G market. In addition, the mobile AI capabilities enabled by its dual-core NPU in Da Vinci architecture as well as EMUI 10 will also help Mate 30 better address local customer needs for performance, ease of use and security.”

Frank Gillett, Vice President & Principal Analyst
“Huawei’s new device line up with advanced cameras, new wearables, and smart display will be a convincing demonstration of engineering prowess. Unfortunately, the conflict with the US government will limit Huawei to serving the China market, plus emerging markets where buyers will tolerate the lack of the Google ecosystem in Android. Increasingly, consumers care as much or more about being plugged into their preferred ecosystems, Google plus sometimes Apple, and won’t tolerate having to start over without their Google or Apple accounts.”