Huawei phone users
In the spirit of not beating about the bush, things aren’t looking good for Huawei phone users. I’ve been following the Huawei-Google-Trump fiasco over the last few days and things seem to have got quite rapidly out of hand.
Users of Huawei phones, tablets, laptops and other devices will be dismayed at Google’s decision on Sunday to ban it from having access to Google Play and the Android operating system upon which the devices are currently reliant.
I say decision… but it was more an act of compliance with a US Government directive. Huawei was added to the US Department of Commerce’s Entity List last week on the order of President Trump, thereby blacklisting the company as far as American corporations are concerned.
This means that the supply of key hardware components from the United States will be effectively cut off, as well as the second-largest smartphone manufacturer being banned from making any new business deals with said American corporations.
Google and Microsoft
Furthermore, under the government directive, Huawei is not allowed to approach any US app developers. This extends to Alphabet Inc., the conglomerate to which Google pertains, whose software updates on the popular Android platform are central to the appeal and overall operation of Huawei’s mobile devices.
In theory, fellow tech giant Microsoft should also follow suit and disallow Huawei from being able to obtain a Windows licence for its range of laptops. However, despite having removed Huawei stock from its online store, Microsoft is yet to make a public statement about its compliance with the US Department of Commerce’s ruling.
Why was Huawei banned in the first place?
President Trump’s reasoning behind putting Huawei on the (somewhat non-explicatory in name) Entity List was national security.
His administration has been waging a war on unsanctioned international surveillance since the very beginning of his installation - with claims that China is spying on powerful nations like the US and the UK - and the Huawei scandal is the latest in a long line of telecommunications security fears.
Some “evidence” recently came to light that Huawei phones, under duress from the Chinese Government, were being installed with “backdoors” in their hardware to allow them to spy on American networks.
The suggestion that Huawei phones are essentially being used as Trojan horses for espionage by the Chinese Government is, inevitably, very damaging to the company’s international operations, while President Trump last week emphasised the gravity of the situation by calling it a “national emergency”.
Luckily for Huawei phone users, the company has been given a 90-day grace period (until 19th August) before the ban comes into effect. So if you have a Huawei device, you will be able to update Android apps and services via Google Play until that date.
Afterwards, however, there is huge uncertainty. In the last couple of days, sources close to the smartphone manufacturer have revealed that Huawei has been preparing a “plan B” for some time now, involving its own operating system that is completely independent of Android and would replace it in its handheld devices.
Whether this rather ambitious unveiling of a new mobile OS is true or not remains to be seen.
What is true, however, is that those who have recently taken delivery of their brand new P20 (Pro), P30 (Pro) or Mate 20 (Pro) smartphone – Huawei’s newest and top-of-the-range mobile products, according to online ratings – will be kicking themselves.
Either that or the Shenzhen-based company will come to its global customers’ aid and deliver on their software, which would simultaneously cease the global panic and see it go toe-to-toe with Android and iOS.
Do you have a Huawei phone? If so, are you worried about losing all Google apps in a few months? Or do you think the company will find a solution before then? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!