According to people familiar with the inner workings of Huawei and Google (via The Information), there was going to be a Huawei Google Assistant-powered smart speaker unveiled this year. Huawei even planned on selling the Google Home-like device in the United States (via direct internet sales).
Reportedly, Huawei and Google were working together closely to make the product happen. However, when the Trump administration put Huawei on the Entity List, effectively banning the company from working with U.S.-based firms, the project died.
If the Trump ban didn’t go into effect, the Huawei-Google smart speaker would have launched at IFA in Berlin, which starts in early September.
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Considering the privacy ethics issues Google, Apple, Amazon, and other companies with smart speakers face from the general public, a Huawei smart speaker featuring Google Assistant likely would have been problematic for the company, considering the accusations against it related to privacy and security. It’s likely, therefore, that even if the Trump ban is lifted soon, the smart speaker still won’t see a release.
If it did come to pass, the smart speaker would have been the first Huawei product in several years that U.S.-based consumers could buy without needing to import it from another country or buy from an international reseller.
At last year’s IFA, Huawei unveiled the AI Cube, a smart speaker powered by Amazon’s Alexa (and also very clearly not a cube). The device never saw a release in the U.S.
NEXT: Huawei and the Trump debacle: The story so far
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