Huawei turns to TomTom to help it navigate away from Google Maps

Published: 20 January 2020 - 7:10 a.m.
By: CommsMEA staff writer

Huawei has signed an agreement with TomTom to provide an alternative to the Google Maps services on its flagship range of smartphone handsets.

The deal was signed late last year but is only just being reported now, according to sources at Reuters.

The US government has banned Huawei from doing business with any US firm after it added the Chinese tech giant to the banned entities list. In doing so, the Trump administration has blocked Huawei from accessing Google’s Android based services, forcing the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer to find alternatives, fast. The move has put a serious dent in Huawei’s ambition to become the world’s most prolific producer of smartphone handsets.

The deal with TomTom now means that Huawei can use its maps, traffic information data and navigation software to develop its own apps for use in its flagship smartphones.

Since being added to the banned entities list, Huawei has launched its own operating system, HongMengOS, and ramped up production of its own brand chipsets.

Last week, Huawei announced that it would be spending around $26 million with developers in the UK to try and develop a series of alternatives to the most popular Android based apps.

While the US and China are moving towards a resolution of their bitter trade war, the US government has kept up pressure on Huawei, continuing to use the situation to gain leverage against China.

TomTom is believed to be interested in diversifying its focus away from its signature portable navigation systems and focussing more on providing software solutions. The partnership with Huawei will go some way to helping it achieve that aim.

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