What you need to know
- Huawei and Google were working together to create a smart speaker.
- Shortly after the Trump ban, Huawei had to cancel the speaker.
- It was supposed to be unveiled at IFA 2019.
IFA 2019 will be here before you know it, and when the annual trade show rolls around, we’ll be met with all sorts of exciting gadget announcements. One thing that won’t be there, however, is a now-canceled Huawei smart speaker.
According to a new report from The Information, Huawei was working with Google to create a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker that would be available in the United States. However, shortly after the Trump ban went into place, Huawei had to cancel it.
Per the report:
China’s Huawei and Google were working together on a new Huawei-branded smart speaker right before President Donald Trump restricted Huawei’s access to U.S. tech suppliers, say people familiar with the situation. The collaboration, which was suspended in May, shows that the companies were even closer than previously understood.
A Huawei employee also commented on the news, saying:
We worked on this project with Google for a year and made a lot of progress. Then everything suddenly stopped.
Huawei was allowed to once again work with U.S. companies earlier this month, and now that the disastrous ban is over, it’ll be interesting to see if Huawei and Google pick up where they left off and decide to keep pushing forward with the speaker.
It’s also unclear what advantages a Huawei speaker would offer over other options that are currently on the market, but considering all of the bad press the company was met with this year, I have a hard time imagining a lot of U.S. consumers would be willing to let a Huawei speaker into their homes — regardless if those fears are warranted or not.