Huawei, in case you didn't already know, based in China and a huge company and absolutely massive and they have all kinds of business in the tech. They sell networking equipment, computers, ang they sell most notably smartphones. They are the number 2 largest by market share smartphone vendor on the planet earth secondly is the Samsung and right above is Apple.
So, as you may hear or read in the news over the past few months that the US and China have been escalating this Trade War from both sides plus there's been a history of security concerns over the potential of US companies buying Huawei networking equipment and the possibly getting spied on by the Chinese Government; US Government agencies were even banned for buying Huawei Phones at all. So, no matter how you view those things, either way, Huawei's status in the US or even in the Philippines has been pretty shaky for a little while now for various reasons they knew it, we knew it, that's just the climate we're in.
So, new news now is that the US government signed an executive order into effect that added Huawei to effectively a blacklist of companies that are restricted from doing any business with any US company at all, period!
It's been worded a bunch of different ways but that's basically what went down and now the implications from that have run far and why I mean nothing's really rocked the tech world quite like this in a little while. So, the biggest most obvious headline from this is GOOGLE! They're a US Company and Huawei does business with Google they make Android phones. When the executive order came out in response to Google complied by stopping all business with Huawei and pulling their license to use Android. That wasn't like a choice they made or a decision they had really, they're just complying with the executive order, Google's in the US, Huawei is not allowed to do business with any company in the US that they can't be sold any software or any licenses so they cannot use Android.
This is, of course, the terrible news for Huawei who by the way was the fastest-growing smartphone manufacturer in the world and they were coming up quick on that number one spot. Now, the big question, we're all wondering is, what does this mean for the PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE Huawei devices? For Huawei devices past and present like if you own Huawei Phone like me, P30 PRO, etc. here's the deal. First of all, they have issued a 90-day exemption so they will be able to continue sending software updates and security updates to existing Huawei Phones for the next 90 days into August so that sort of softens the blow a little bit, "I guess?" And I do believe this also includes Honor, by the way, Honor being as a brand that's owned completely by Huawei a sub-brand of them but Honor and Huawei Phones are all sorts of under the same umbrella.
These phones will all still work and they'll still keep getting software updates and also google tweeted from their Android account that while they comply with the US Government requirements the services like Google Play and security from Goole Play protect they will keep functioning on your existing Huawei devices for now but these phones if things stay the way they are, these phones will most certainly stop getting software update. Likes even if you're not in the US no matter where you are if your Huawei Phones runs Google services those will stop and you'll study these phones will not get the latest version of Android.
Basically, at the end of this 90-days extension whatever software version these phones have is the one that they'll have for the rest of their life which is definitely not ideal. What does Huawei do from here like what can Huawei do about their future phones and can Huawei even makes future phones without any US business help?
The fun Fact here is, the Huawei spent $70 Billion buying hardware components last year and $11 Billion of that went to US companies like Qualcomm, Intel, etc. and actually our technical past article with a pretty good breakdown of all the parts and components that Huawei's been buying to make their smartphones and a lot of them come from the US companies. The Gorilla Glass, Flash Storage, some Radios, etc. all from the US. Looking at this list it doesn't seem totally unrealistic? I mean, they don't want to obviously but they seem like they could totally switch all their suppliers from US companies to others to get around this. It's not what they want to do involve spending a lot of money and doing a lot of work but they're one of the few OEM's that don't rely on Qualcomm for the silicon, they make their own Kirin 980 chips for the Mate-20PRO and P30-PRO.
In theory, with a lot of effort, they could keep making these physical phones and also Bloomberg has reported that Huawei has built up a 3-month stockpile of the parts that they like to use ahead of this ban which actually pretty impressive. But even if they did replace all of these Hardware supplies with alternatives in the next 90-days the software still the big question. How do you make a phone without a Google and without an Android license and without Google Play store? Technically Android itself is an open source just bare-bones stock Android is just an open source project which has led many to speculate that you don't need a license and you're going to do business with Google to just use AOSP so they could use bone stock Android. But, that's not ideal because of even that further and further from the version Google use every day and that still doesn't include things like Google services, Gmail, Youtube it's not ideal.
The more I read into it, it turns out we always been sort of quietly bracing themselves for something like this for a while. Similar to Samsung they've recognized their reliance on Google and Google services as a bad thing so they've been slowly building things behind the scenes to be able to get ready to replace them supposedly they've been working on a backup OS that supports Android Apps and they've been working on building their own Apps Store. The problem is, that is an immense challenge to try to get people to use an alternate OS and an alternate Apps Store especially if it doesn't look exactly the same as the one they're used to especially the App Store. If you can't do business with the US companies you can't expect to be able to negotiate your way into getting Netflix's, Pandora's, Facebooks, and Instagram's on your alternates Apps Store. Even if you can we've seen others like Amazon; Amazon is a multi-billion Dollar company and the sad version off an App Store that they have is nowhere near a replacement of the ones that were used to and it's a supermassive challenge to try to build up your own App Store out of nowhere. So this spells a lot of work for Huawei like it shows how big of an impact just getting cut from your ties with Google can have on your business, they've seen this coming they've known that this possible but now that it's happened it's awful.
The way things stand now they could in theory after the 90-days is up continued to make phones entirely to 9 US companies but those phones wouldn't have Android, Google Play Services, which are crucial, and they wouldn't have the Google Play Store. It is so taught!
Of course, it's not just Google that they're cut off from like that which is the big headlining one because they make a lot of Android phones but there's plenty of other US companies that they do business with Microsoft, Intel, and Nvidia. Huawei has been making laptops and a pretty good one competitively for a while now. As far as I can tell, they can't keep making Windows Laptops without doing business with Microsoft, Intel, and Nvidia with these companies. That is brutal too!
As a person that really likes tech, all of this news is terrible because having one less company means less competition which is fewer incentives for these companies to work hard and make great stuff. We've seen it ourselves with how good their phones have gotten lately and how good they've made all the phones around them even you're not a fan of Huawei or if you don't like their stuff, we have to admit that having them around is good for the consumers and it's good for us.
If you think about it, this is also pretty bad just specifically for folding phones like the Galaxy fold kind of just had its own PR nightmare all by itself over there for a couple of weeks which sort of turned people's heads to the other folding phones that would be coming to markets soon which was gonna be the Huawei Mate-X. What if it came and run Android? Huawei, as I said is a huge company! I guess if anyone can recover from such a massive setback to multiple parts of their business, I guess this is not ideal at all, their ideal case would be the Government renegotiates things and they reverse the executive order and things go back to normal but in the case that doesn't happen at least they have billions of dollars to try something. But even they do come back if you think about the bigger damage might really just be the way people think about Huawei as a company to potentially buy products.
You know the reputation isn't exactly great especially in the US and Philippines, so now, good luck trying to convince someone to spend a thousand dollars instead of an iPhone on a Huawei phone that doesn't even have a Playstore or run Android anymore. That's the taught sell!
If you look back a very similar situation happened to ZTE in 2018, they got cut off from all their US business relationships and they were never the same, they didn't exactly come back strong from that but Huawei is this Goliath so I'm thinking will go a bit differently this time or at least hoping things will go differently for the sake of competition. But to be honest, this whole situation is far from over these things evolve they change over time. I would be shocked if this whole thing reverses in the next couple of months just because that's sort of the way things have gone recently. But as of right now, we're just kind of in this unsatisfying limbo as speculate about Huawei's future.