A report from China Daily suggests that Huawei is working on its own mapping service, as an alternative to Google Maps, due to arrive in October. That could co-incide with the arrival of the rumoured Mate 30 handset.
So why is Huawei working on mapping? Because, in the event the fallout with the US continues and there’s a future issue with using Google’s Android operating system, it’ll need its own setup. The company already has announced its HarmonyOS operating system.
That mapping solution, it is suggested, will be called Map Kit. It is targeted at developers, rather than as a consumer-facing system, because if there’s no Android then there’s no Maps API, which would mean apps wouldn’t be able to plug into this geo service.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen this type of approach. Amazon had to action a similar approach with its doomed Fire Phone, also because the Maps API wasn’t available for that operating system. Instead the company used Here as a workaround.
Huawei already has ‘Russian Google’ Yandex and Booking.com owner Booking Holdings signed up. Now it just needs all the other big guns to get on board because, quite simply, at least half the apps in most phones require some kind of mapping to function correctly.
We’ll have to wait and see if and how much of a difference Map Kit will make to Huawei’s future phone proposition…
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