Huawei, which has long consolidated its position in the smartphone market in many countries by taking away from Samsung the leadership for the units sold, is fighting its biggest headache in recent times. Perhaps its history. Everything since the executive order signed by Trump last week has crystallized into Google’s veto, which implies the breaking of the relationship between both technologies and the consequent end of the brand’s phones with Android that so far used and its access to Google applications (YouTube, Gmail, Maps, etc.).
This schism, born in the commercial war between China and the United States and in which the latter’s secretary of commerce considers Huawei a “threat to national security”, means that now there are many Huawei smartphone users wondering what future immediately awaits the terminals they already own. For all of you, we answer the most frequently asked questions based on the information we have at the time of writing these lines.
Will my Huawei become a paperweight?
No. Both the system and all applications, including Google (YouTube, Google Maps, Google Drive, Chrome, Gmail…) will continue to work sine die in the same way as any other Android phone, as confirmed by Google. This also applies to the possibility of continuing to download applications through the Play Store.
Will I be able to continue to update my Huawei?
Yes and no. In its exclusive Reuters publication, it is explained that the blockade is immediate due to the support of all Huawei terminals, including those that are already in the mobile fleet. As explained in the original source:
“Huawei 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 Google Play Store and Gmail applications, and Google will stop provide any kind of technical support and collaboration for Android and Google services for Huawei in the future “.
In the same tweet from the previous question, Google suggests this when it comes to “existing Huawei devices” with that nuance. However, one thing is Google updates, at the level of the operating system and native services, and another is the monthly security updates, which Huawei users will continue to receive.
Will I be able to use Huawei’s warranty and technical support?
Yes. The company explained that, in addition to security updates, they will also provide post-sales support for phones, tablets, and other devices, both Huawei and Honor, both already sold and those that are still in stores.
Is it possible that the Google block is canceled and that everything returns to normal?
It is possible, but nobody can guarantee it and the only real thing today is the veto. A look at these almost three years of the Trump government gives a glimpse of its usual behavior in similar cases: you act with a very hard hand and strong measures and then sit down to negotiate with the knife on the side of the handle. Of course, it could all be normal if it gets something from China, in return, but nothing is guaranteed.
My phone is from another Chinese manufacturer, should I worry?
No. At least for now. At least today there are no signs that other manufacturers like OnePlus, its parent Oppo or Xiaomi will undergo the same procedure.
What can we expect from now on from Huawei?
As for terminal launches, it is something that only the company knows and to which we have not been able to get an answer at the time of publication of this article. The alternatives that remain are:
a) Market terminals with AOSP, the open and public version of Android, which has not installed any of Google’s applications and services
b) It commercializes the terminals with its own operating system. An EMUI that doesn’t need the Android underground layer to work? It would not be a surprise: Huawei has already advanced the fact of having an ace up its sleeve in the form of its own operating system that could be used in the event that the lock is confirmed. The question is whether it can maintain its good level of sales (it already sells one in five phones in Europe) with that plan B.
In any case, the veto is not just for Google at the software level. It also includes the sale of hardware and other companies such as Intel, Qualcomm or Broadcom have also announced that they will follow the same steps as Google, in addition to Western Digital, Micron Technology or Infineon Technologies.
This means that Huawei, which produces its own processors and modems under the Kirin brand, will be saved at least in part, but cannot use components that have been necessary for other purposes, such as for laptops, using Windows (an American company) and Intel processors (American company). The servers that Huawei produces, among other things, use Intel processors.
A year ago, the People’s Republic of China had already announced that it was also working on a plan B we now know: it was investing $ 47,000 million in creating its own chip industry. The goal, of course, was to cut the dependency on all the American companies we mentioned above.