Huawei is a giant of the Tech industry globally, the number two seller of mobile phones globally and their sales are very much on the rise here in Australia.
Their growth has hit a huge stumbling block though with the US Government placing the company on a “trade blacklist” which essentially means that no US company is allowed to do business with Huawei without the express permission of the US Government.
Big deal for sure, but it has an impact on the business of Huawei globally, not just in the USA.
Not only will there need to be a detailed analysis of every single component of a Huawei phone to ensure any US company supplying parts (directly or indirectly) – no matter how small – stops doing so, but there’s a much bigger elephant in the room.
Google’s Android Operating system runs on every single Huawei smartphone. Android itself is an open source operating system, so there’s most certainly some options for Huawei in terms of building a phone and finding an operating system that works with it – but the layers that Google adds to Android are critical to the average consumer.
According to a source speaking to Reuters, “Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing”
That means the Google Play Store won’t be made available to Huawei devices, any Google services like Gmail or Maps won’t be available to Huawei devices.
Most certainly future Huawei phones will be affected by this, how it plays out for current devices is unclear.
It’s expected that app updates will continue to flow through, to both the Play Store and the individual apps, but any overall system updates like Android Q will likely be limited.
So for existing Huawei phone owners, there’s likely no current need for concern.
For Huawei as a whole though, this is a disaster. Already limited in many places from providing their primary technology that is Mobile Networks due to 5G bans, the possibility of severely limited consumer device business is a problem of epic proportions.
The company was selling smartphones in Australia in huge numbers year on year, and the P30 series just this last month or so has been a tremendous success, but can that continue?
First to suffer will likely be the Mate 30 device, due in October this year – and how that could possibly go ahead without Google is beyond me.
Huawei’s only hope is that the US Government sees this issue and reduces the scope of the ban to ensure the company can operate Globally except in the US. But as a trade ban, there’s not much hope of that, given Google is a US company and the premise of the ban is the stop US companies doing business with Huawei.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.