Everything seemed to be going Huawei’s way at the start of 2019. The company had recently overtaken Apple to become the World’s second largest smartphone manufacturer, and with explosive double-digit growth at the start of 2019, it had it’s eyes set firmly on Samsung’s crown by the end of the year.
But then Donald Trump happened. Accusations of spying and a US-China trade war has led to the US government preventing companies considered to be "foreign adversaries" from accessing US technology without government approval. This is a huge blow to Huawei, who’s smartphones run on the Android operating system, developed by US company Google.
Huawei insists it always abides by the laws of each country it is present in, and has argued the dispute is solely about trade, not security.
As things stand, Huawei is losing its licensing agreement with Google for the provision of Google Play Services and access to the Google Play Store on new Huawei Android devices.
Will my Huawei phone stop working?
No. Google and Huawei both say that they will continue to provide support for existing Huawei devices. The ban only applies to mobile phones released in the future, so if you already have a Huawei phone, or are buying an existing model or a pre-owned device, it should carry on working as usual. You’ll still be able to install new apps like Facebook and Youtube.
While it is unclear what the future holds, current Huawei users might struggle to download some future versions of the Android operating system. While the next version of Android, which releases later in 2019 should be safe, future updates might not be so easy to access.
Should I buy a Huawei now?
Currently there’s no real reason not to consider a Huawei device. Both Google and Huawei have promised future updates and support for existing devices until at least 2020 and while we don’t know exactly what the future holds, any disputes between the US and China will hopefully be resolved sooner rather than later.
What are Huawei’s options in the future?
If the US and China can’t resolve their disputes, there’s no reason to think a company as large and as successful Huawei are simply going to stop smartphone production. They have the clout and the money to solve their current predicament sooner, rather than later.
In the long term, the company could switch from Google’s licensed version of Android, to the “open-source” version on which it is based. While this would mean Huawei lose access to official Google apps like the Google Play Store, it’s worth noting that alternative apps do exist, and Google is already absent from Huawei devices in China.
Am I safe to buy a refurbished Huawei from RueZone?
You are indeed! The Huawei Google ban will only effect newly released devices going forward, and existing Huawei phones will receive Android’s 2019 update as normal, future-proofing them until 2020 and beyond. Further out from there, if the diplomatic issues between the US and China aren’t resolved, Huawei are likely to have started using open-source Android, or developed a competing operating system.
Huawei has proven leaders in the manufacturing of smartphones, and the devices they release are popular and well reviewed. If you would like to try a Huawei device for yourself, now is a good a time as any!