Huawei signs handle TomTom for a Google Maps alternative

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Chinese phone maker Huawei will deal with Dutch digital mapping business TomTom to put maps on its phones, Reuters reports. A TomTom representative told Reuters that the deal closed “some time back,” but it ended up being public late last week.

While TomTom maintains self-branded apps on iOS and Android, Reuters describes Huawei constructing its own apps with TomTom’s maps, traffic details, and navigation tools. TomTom has actually previously offered information for Apple Maps– it was part of a shambolic patchwork of information providers at launch, but Apple reportedly kept utilizing its services after upgrading the app too.

The TomTom deal might signal that Huawei is at least momentarily backing off Map Package, or that it’s just still working on the tech and requires a short-term option.

Like numerous Android phone makers, Huawei has actually up until now counted on Google Maps. But the Trump administration positioned sanctions on the business in 2015, threatening its ties to American tech companies like Google. Huawei is still utilizing Android in the meantime, but the future of that offer is “unclear,” and Huawei is building its own operating system called HarmonyOS. The TomTom deal even more minimizes its dependance on Google– although mapping apps can be notoriously difficult to get right, so Huawei isn’t in the clear.

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