Finally, the grip of US authorities around the neck of Huawei is tightening to a level of choking. Google has banned Huawei from using Android OS in its upcoming devices. To make the situation more critical for Huawei, Google has also made it clear that all the existing Huawei and Honor users will no longer be entitled to receive the new updates and security patches essential for keeping their mobile experience safe and secured.
The ongoing tug of war between Huawei and the President of the United State has started pushing the Chinese smartphone major towards the wall. As the company is fast running out of options to stay afloat in the global smartphone market, the latest blow by Google could prove fatal for the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
Just last week, President of the United States has declared a national emergency and passed an executive order to bar all companies in the US to supply products to Huawei. The move, however, hardly made any dent on Huawei as the company was believed to have enough stocks to deal with the situation.
But the latest move by Google is quite concerning for Huawei as it can have a direct impact on sales of its smartphones worldwide. As the government has blacklisted Huawei, Google has fished out Huawei from its Android partner program which refrains the company from having access to proprietary apps and services of Google.
While Google is still reviewing the implications of the executive order from the President of the US, Huawei will have immediately findings itself in hot waters as the company no longer would be able to install Google Play Service on its smartphones.
For Huawei users' questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov't requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.
— Android (@Android) May 20, 2019
No More Android On Huawei: What’s Does it Mean?
It may be too early to be too conclusive at this stage though. Both, Google and Huawei, are evaluating their options and reviewing the impact and implications of the ban, one thing is certain – The smartphone sales of Huawei will tank! And it’s going to be disastrous for the Chinese company which accounts for a lion’s share of the global smartphone market.
One out of every five smartphones shipped globally in Q1 2019 came from Huawei. A whopping 59.1 million smartphones were shipped by Huawei, increasing its share from a mere 11.8% to 19% in last one year.
The company was riding high on the success of its smartphone devices worldwide. The unprecedented growth of Huawei across the smartphone markets is quite concerning for Samsung and Apple both. It was Q1 2019 when Huawei leapfrogged Apple to claim the second position in the list of top smartphone vendors worldwide. The company is aggressive enough to capture the market and fast closing the gap with the market leader Samsung.
The recent blow by Google, however, will definitely slow down – if doesn’t stop completely – the growth of Huawei on the global level.
Android Alternatives for Huawei
The ongoing trade war between the US and China possibly hinted Huawei about the future. And, that’s the reason the company is already developing its own operating system to come out from the umbrella of Android. It’s not known yet that at what stage Huawei is currently with its own OS though.
The transition, however, is not going to be easy for all the Huawei users, especially for those who are outside of China. Besides, how far the operating system will be able to match or compete with Android is something only time will tell, but the similar attempt made by Samsung with Tizen OS has so far failed to bear any fruits. The lack of apps to support the new ecosystem is the biggest challenge these companies have faced so far.
Another option for Huawei is to build a custom version of Android, using AOSP (Android Open Source Project). This is similar to how developers of custom ROMs do. But, there are again certain challenges as well in regards to installing GApps on it.
Overall, at this stage, the situation of Huawei looks very bad anywhere outside China where Google Services are already banned. The homegrown market for Huawei is already saturated and markets outside China have significant impact and influence of the US. The emerging markets, especially India, which is driving the growth of almost every global smartphone vendor, may soon turn hostile for Huawei, putting the company on survival mode.
The loss for Huawei would be a boon for its competitors, especially Xiaomi and Samsung who are leaving no stone unturned to capture the smartphone market. But it also has a warning sign of Chinese players like Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo – only if they can read!
Is Google’s move to ban Huawei from using Android going be the beginning of the end of the Chinese major? There are going to be a lot more development in the coming days; all we need to do just wait and watch patiently!