Today, in an email to Android Authority, Huawei confirmed that it will release at least two new smartphones by the end of this year that will feature a fully-licensed version of Android. That means Google apps will be on board.
However, the company would only confirm these two new smartphones for the South African market.
One of the two smartphones in question is the Huawei Nova 5T, which is an incremental upgrade over the previously-released Huawei Nova 5. The Nova 5T will come with a quad-lens camera setup on the rear and a single selfie shooter on the front for a total of five cameras.
The other new smartphone is the Huawei Y9 S, a previously unannounced device that will also be an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, the Huawei Y9 Prime (2019 edition). Huawei was mum on details regarding the Y9 S, simply saying it will come with “innovative technology.”
Huawei says these two devices will launch in South Africa before the end of 2019, and both devices will “still be supported by Google.” It’s not clear how the company can confirm this as the Huawei ban instituted by the United States government remains in place and is not country-specific. Theoretically, Huawei shouldn’t be able to release a new Google-supported device anywhere in the world, as its Google’s status as a U.S. organization that mandates the ban, not the country where devices are sold.
It’s possible that Huawei is tip-toeing around the ban since these two phones are incremental upgrades over pre-existing devices. However, that’s just a theory.
The fate of Huawei’s next big flagship — the Huawei Mate 30 series — is still up in the air. Current rumors point to a September 18 launch date for those smartphones.