Huawei recently became the second most valued smartphone seller globally but the Chinese manufacturer just came under the gunsight of the US President Donald Trump, who has claimed several times that the company’s smartphones have been a mode of espionage. According to Trump administration, the founder of Huawei Ren Zhengfei has been associated with the Chinese army previously and that’s why all the government agencies and private contractors are barred from using Huawei smartphones.
The tension between the two countries has been escalating lately due to which, President Trump has declared a national emergency and passed an administrative order to stop US companies from supplying their products to Huawei. Following the order, the biggest blow can be considered from Google, who removed Huawei from their Android partner program stating that Huawei no longer possesses “access to proprietary apps and services from Google.” Being unaffected by the decision much and claiming that the company has a stockpile of hardware goods, Huawei’s market dominance can be at stake after Google’s Android pull out.
For now, Google is “reviewing the implications” of the order, but until then, Huawei will be unable to use Android branding and provide services such as Play Store, Google Search, Chrome, YouTube, etc. on its smartphones out of the box.
Huawei will be unable to verify its smartphones with CTS which further means that users cannot just load APKs of Google apps in their Huawei smartphones since Google restricts CTS-unverified smartphones from running its apps. Apart from that, all the apps using Google’s APIs for log-in will also be blocked for both Huawei and sub-brand Honor devices.
Existing Devices Will Continue the Usage
Google confirmed that the existing Huawei users will be able to use the Google Play Store for updating apps. However, the search engine giant also said that Huawei and Honor cannot send newer updates to their smartphones since it will remove Google apps as well as Google Play Services from the existing devices too.
The results of this ban will see Huawei not getting Google security patches before the official public release. Moreover, Huawei and Honor are no longer members of the Android beta programs for the next commercial Android release that will be Android R. In case Huawei considers updating the devices with Android R, it will have to wait for the public release which happens in August mostly.
The Chinese smartphone manufacturer can still continue using Android on its devices by its own custom Android version by using the Android Open Source Project aka AOSP code like the custom ROM developers. But unlike custom ROMs, Huawei will still be kept away from GApps which is a big blow to the Chinese company.
While the situation is not going to improve anytime soon, Huawei might only have one option for now- start rolling its own OS that it has been working on reportedly and wait for the US government to lift the ban. That can be a challenging shift for Huawei users who consider Huawei flagships as the best Android smartphones globally.
The other option of tinkering with Android using AOSP builds will only result in restrictions on Google Play Services and other apps. This will keep users on Huawei’s own AppGallery, which has quite a small number of apps in it.
Overall, Huawei’s condition is quite bad since it is confined to China, the only place in the world where Google’s services are already banned. This order and Google’s pullout will not only affect Huawei in the US but all other markets where Huawei and Honor smartphones are shipped with Google services on them.
The US government has not been too happy with the Chinese smartphone manufacturer lately and it might take months or even years before the two parties can come to a favorable decision.
For now, we can only say that another smartphone giant might die in the upcoming months.
Qualcomm, Intel, Xilinx, Broadcom Also Stop Working With Huawei
After Google limited its operating system exchange with the Chinese manufacturer, the American chipmakers including Qualcomm, Intel, Xilinx, and Broadcom also declared that they will limit the supplies to Huawei following the executive order from the US government. Analyst Ryan Koontz said that the company “is heavily dependent on U.S. semiconductor products and would be seriously crippled without a supply of key U.S. components.” As mentioned above too, the company claimed to have a good amount of chips to keep producing smartphones for the next three months but the ban may take longer.
Among the four mentioned chipmakers, Intel is the company’s primary supplier for chips used in Huawei’s data centers. Intel also empowers Huawei’s Matebook laptop series. Over that, Qualcomm is responsible to sell entry-level Snapdragon SoCs for devices including Honor 8C and others in the similar segment.
To sum it all up, there are over 30 US companies considered as “core suppliers” by Huawei and all of them are likely to go down the same path.
Huawei’s Official Response
In the middle of this debacle, the Chinese smartphone maker shared an official response that goes like this:
“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with Their open-source platform to develop on ecosystem did has benefitted Both users and the industry.
Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering Those have been sold or still in stock globally. “
We want to continue to build a safe and sustainable ecosystem software, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”