Huawei LogoSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • After the loss of Google Mobile Servies, Huawei is scrambling to find alternatives.
  • For mapping duties, the Chinese giant has turned to Dutch navigation provider TomTom.
  • The deal between the two companies could see Huawei developing its own mapping app, with TomTom's services in the backend.

The U.S. ban may not have hurt Huawei's sales figures as much as the Trump administration would have liked, but the lack of Google Mobile Services has undoubtedly put a spanner in the Chinese giant's plans for global domination.

It's had to find alternatives — and fast. In some areas, the company's making its own first-party alternatives to go up against Google's offerings, while in others, it's extending a hand of friendship to all who'll listen. This latest development is an example of the latter, as the Chinese smartphone maker joins hands with Dutch navigation company TomTom for mapping services on future phones.

Reuters reports the deal between the two was struck a while ago but was made public this week by TomTom spokesman Remco Meerstra.

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Details of the agreement are scant, but from the wording in the original report, the venture goes beyond just installing TomTom's app on Huawei phones. It suggests that Huawei may have obtained a license to use TomTom's technology and data to develop its own, Huawei-branded mapping application.

At the end of the day, that might have been a particularly wise move, given Apple's disastrous initial foray into mapping. This path allows Huawei to offer a viable Google Maps alternative to users, all while circumventing the investments necessary for making a new navigation service from the ground up — alongside all the risk that entails. Well played, Huawei, well played.

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