In a recent address by the currently residing Trump administration, US government has added Huawei (world’s 2nd largest smartphone manufacturer) to their ‘entity list’. This is basically a blacklist tag on the company which establishes a number of sanctions on it. US and China have been active participant in the ongoing Trade War as of recent and these sanctions can be directly related to the efforts of the US government in limiting the interference of the Chinese manufacturer in the US market.
The most prominent highlight of these sanctions is the unavailability of the Google Play Store as well as a number of Android services for any future devices from the company. Huawei was recently banned from contributing in the development and deployment of 5G technology across US by the current government and major allies including Australia and UK followed suit and banned the company’s involvement in the respective regard as well. All these bans have caused a considerable blow for Huawei the repercussions of which will surely be visible in the years to come.
Before we continue further with the implications, let us inform you that the United States Department of Commerce has issued a temporary business license to the company, which enables it to continue its business activities within US until August 19th. This also enables Google to continue its partnership with the Chinese brand for the allowed tenure. That being said, a number of potential deals between Huawei and other US based companies have immediately been halted which greatly diminishes Huawei’s quest to become the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world by 2020.
Financial times recently reported an active drop in the share value of the company as chipset developers like Qualcomm and Intel can no longer be in active business with Huawei without the prompt acquisition of licenses and approvals (which can be exceedingly difficult to acquire). Flagship offerings by major companies like Samsung, Apple and Huawei are actively engaging in the war for the biggest chunk of market share and with the recently announced ban, Huawei is bound to suffer from a major handicap in this particular war.
Time for a new OS
Smartphone manufacturers largely depend on the offerings of the massive app stores to keep their audiences catered. With the unavailability of the Google Play Store on future Huawei devices, the probability of the users switching to another brand would definitely increase. Android services for future devices from the company are also set to be visibly limited. This also includes outdated firmware and security related updates, which will be a nuisance to the customer base as well as to the company.
A viable option for the company could be the adoption of Android’s Open Source Platfrom (AOSP), which is free-to-use for various companies and therefore can act as the foundation for Huawei’s future software development. However, if the company does end up opting for AOSP, the limited app availability could be a lethal blow towards their growth.
The other option would be for the company to come up with their own mobile operating system in collaboration with capable developers and manufacturers. However, this also presents a major implication, as it can be extremely difficult to coarse masses towards a new ware in the fast-paced dynamics of the current world. We have all witnessed how Nokia and Microsoft have failed to capture the desired market when they introduced the Windows phone series. Although these companies poured heaps upon heaps of money into the project to entice developers as well as users towards their platform, the results couldn’t be attained.
Existing Huawei users
On a somewhat brighter note, a recent tweet by Google stated:
“For Huawei users’ questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov’t requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.”
This ensures the users of some of the latest offerings from Huawei, including P30 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, that their services will not be suspended. Google has only hinted towards ensuring the audiences in terms of security updates and after sale services. Therefore, it can readily be assumed that Android Q developments will be off the charts for Huawei users in the future. Huawei Honor series, which is a subsidiary to the parent company faces similarly negative implications. With the sanctions in place, a number of upcoming smartphones (which were currently in the development phase) might be delayed, as alterations will surely be in order.
Huawei officials have confirmed that the company started working on its own computers and mobile operating systems quite a while ago (around 7 years) considering that it might have to face sanctions of the current sort. This could present a sigh of relief for the company’s customer base. We cannot be sure when these offerings are set to be introduced and if they will be able to perform up to the mark or not. Only the future will unfold what further implications the company might have to face, but this entire scenario surely marks a major shift in the world of smartphone development.
Robert James, Content Analyst at Localcabledeals