I did not see this one coming. According to Reuters Google has suspended business with Huawei, the second largest smartphone manufacturer thanks to the later being placed under sanctions.
Yes sanctions are real and it has been the latest move from the White House in it’s trade blacklist. This move looks like it will pretty much cripple Huawei’s plans to be the number 1 smartphone manufacturer by 2020
What Huawei Is Losing
According to Routers:
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, and the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app.
This will affect even the latest Huawei devices like the richly acclaimed P30 Pro.
However because Android is an open source operating system, they will still be able to get access to Google software that is under Google’s open source licence.
How Bad Is This For Huawei
This move means that Huawei will find it harder to grow in markets outside of China that rely on Google’s suite of products like Gmail and Google Play.
Lack of future software updates might start to see the public outside of China lose favor with Huawei devices.
However Huawei already has their own app store that updates most of their OEM apps already and these are similar to Google’s own suite of apps.
App Gallery is Huawei’s app store with some everyday apps that you are already using as well as some that are Huawei specific including apps like Huawei Cloud (Google Drive).
It will be interesting to see if this event will affect the running of games on Huawei devices that live off Google Play Services.
Did Huawei See It Coming?
You may or may not have heard that Huawei is working on it’s own operating system possibly for future devices. According to South China Morning Post, Huawei started working on it’s own smartphone operating system in 2012 and already has operating systems for it’s tablets and PCs.
As much as Huawei said it working hand in hand with Android, they didn’t deny that they are indeed building their own OS.
It is a matter of capacity and necessity. There is no doubt that Huawei is capable of doing it, but for now I don’t think it is necessary since we work very closely with Google and will continue to use its Android system.
Will A Fully Self Reliant Huawei Be A Hit Or Miss?
Clearly relying on other people’s stuff is never a good idea. A perfect example is how in 2015 Snapdragon botched the 810 series processor forcing Samsung to use their own Exynos chip on the S6 and Note 5 and turning every phone running the 810 processor into a hot plate. As well as this Google trade ban with Huawei.
Huawei was already making their own chipset, The Kirin chip and they already have their own custom 5G modem, the Balong 5000.
Them having their own OS means they can truly be the Apple of China and not rely on 3rd parties for software and hardware support. This could potentially make their devices more optimized and more fluid since they won’t be working around the Android framework.
Yes they have the hardware side of things figured out quite well but software is a whole different animal. Microsoft with Windows Mobile and Samsung with Tizen have not really made significant ground with producing their own OS.
Main reason is if an OS has developers making a variety of apps for it then it will be more appealing for the users. Also developers only see an incentive of developing apps if the platform has the numbers. It will be interesting to find out if this alleged Huawei OS will gain enough attention to attract the developers for it.
Is It Fair?
If you did not know, China has the Great Firewall which basically blocks the Chinese population from accessing services like WhatsApp, Facebook or Google. The argument could be that since China (Huawei, ZTE, Oppo, etc) is benefiting from Android and Facebook by getting full access to their services it’s only fair that their services also be allowed to be accessible to the Chinese citizens.
While this firewall is not necessarily Huawei’s idea, they are China’s biggest telecoms equipment manufacturer playing their part in enforcing this censorship law.
To the U.S it could be a way to arm-twist China into giving in and allowing U.S services to operate there. Is it fair for Google to provide all their services and support to a company based in a country where their services are barred? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
As it stands the details on the full extent of the ban are still not inked out for the world to see. All we can do is wait and see how hot a soup Huawei is in right now.