Can Huawei Survive without Google and Android?

Huawei is the second largest phone manufacturer in the world surpassing Apple and behind Samsung. Now, I know some of you don’t want to read an in-depth analysis of this whole ordeal so here’s a TLDR (too long, didn’t read) version for you guys about the recent Huawei ban by Google.

TLDR

  • Due to the security accusations, US companies such as Google, Intel, and Qualcomm have cut ties with Huawei.
  • Huawei will provide updates for all the current phones on the market.
  • They always had a plan B since 2012.
  • We’re yet to see if they will be forced to be limited to the Chinese market that’s used to alternatives to popular apps such as youtube, Google, WhatsApp, etc or they will be able to maintain their global market dominance.
  • The Chinese people aren’t very happy about it and it might result in a boycott of American products such as iPhones in China. Technological war?

Now let’s go deep into each one of the above mentioned points.

Huawei Ban

Why did Google, Intel, and Qualcomm cut ties with Huawei?

US authority has filed about almost 2 dozen criminal charges against the company leading to Huawei ban. It had various instances of intellectual property theft. Various accusations of stealing trade secrets have been a common theme. The compromise intellectual property accusations range from Cisco, a hardware manufacturer to Tappy, a phone testing robot.

Most brutal of these accusations is the “industrial espionage”. Now, what does it mean, you may ask? It basically means to spy to obtain secrets from a rival. The CFO of the company was also arrested in Canada in December 2018.

What does it mean for the current Huawei phones that are in the market?

  • Huawei will provide updates and after-sales services to those phones that a still in stock globally.
  • The phones that have been sold and currently selling, will not be affected and people will be able to use Google services such as Gmail and Google Play Services as Google does not want to hurt users.
  • EMUI ( Modified Android) will continue to get updates.
  • People will still be able to update their Google apps if they currently own a Huawei phone.
  • Non-Google apps as you might have guessed won’t be affected at all. You can always use them and update them.
  • Even after the Huawei ban, their smartphones will still receive security patches.

What was Huawei’s Plan B?

Okay, they have already developed an OS that could replace Android on mobile phone and Windows on laptops. And, it’s been reported that it can run all the current native android apps. Developers can recompile their apps to have better performance on the OS.

Now, since they’ve said that they love working on Android technology so much. It’s probably based on Android or borrows from Android since Android is open source. They’ve also said that they would keep contributing to Android technology. Play Store, Google Services such as maps et cetera are what’s not open source. And, also they have their own app store. Play store is banned in China, Chinese users already use Huawei’s app store and they’ve also launched it on their European phones. Normal users won’t care about from where they can download their favorite apps. Replacing Google Maps is probably going to be harder though.

Why aren’t Chinese people happy?

The video shows that China has appealed the US to take corrective actions for fair trade. They are not happy about the sanctioning of Chinese products and entities. They also show their disagreement on using export control measures by using national security as an excuse.

The Chinese iPhones fans are likely to boycott iPhones and opt for Huawei due to nationalist sentiments. Apple’s market share in China is expected to go down and the rhetoric of “switch to Huawei” has gained traction. Apart from nationalistic reasons, the drop in market share could also be because Huawei offers phones with identical features at an affordable price.

Closing Remarks

Huawei’s media statement mentions that they’ll provide security updates and after sales services on the phones that have been sold and are still in stock and they will continue to build secure and sustainable software.

Huawei’s CEO says he saw it coming and the trade restriction would have no impact on their 5G technology as their competitors cannot catch up with them in the next 2-3 years.

Huawei is a behemoth of a company and in some ways, way ahead of its competitors. The trade ban will obviously impact them but not so badly that they can’t bounce back or that they’ll completely shut down. I mean, they still have lots of traction in China itself and also outside the USA. And, also their die-hard fans will still give their new experiments a try. It seems that the company is here to say.