Back in November last year, Huawei sold its Honor brand to a Chinese consortium owing to the stress created on its supply chain caused by the U.S. trade bans and the firm’s inability to source key components for its phones. The sale would allow the company to not only conserve resources for its own phones but also for Honor’s buyers to develop hardware using parts sourced from the likes of Qualcomm and software from Google.
Now, a new report from Kommersant, a Russian publication, suggests that Honor is working on a new device lineup with support for Google services. The possible addition of Google’s Play Store coupled with the fact that the firm is no longer being owned by Huawei might also result in the devices dropping Huawei’s AppGallery, the publication adds. These phones are expected to make it to the Russian market in the spring, though availability and plans for other regions are currently not known.
The report also adds that the lack of GMS has adversely affected the Honor brand in Russia, citing an earlier report that suggests that the brand held the second position in terms of unit sales in 2019, which was taken over by Xiaomi. The inclusion of Google Mobile Service (GMS) and the now-removed trade blocks for business with the likes of Qualcomm could greatly improve the sales of the devices in Russia and elsewhere.
While it is no surprise that the new owners of the Honor brand expect to begin shipping devices with Google’s services, it will be interesting to see if the company continues bundling Huawei’s AppGallery with the phones. The report speculates that the removal of Huawei’s store might reduce developer efforts for that company. Additionally, it is highly unlikely that Honor’s upcoming flagship, expected to be called the V40, will bring support for Google’s services.