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Huawei ban: the global consequences explained [Updated]

Updating: The latest Huawei ban news sees the struggling Chinese electronics giant losing relationships with more essential component suppliers, as well as major retailers refusing to store their phones. It is not all bad news, as details of a potential rival in the Google Play Store come forward and Huawei execs promise to find a solution for the problems with the chip.

Huawei is at the center of a worldwide struggle between the US and China after the Trump administration puts the Chinese brand on the ' entity list ' which limited the company that American companies could do with it.

This has global implications. It led to Google blocking Huawei's future access to Android updates. UK-based chip designer ARM has stopped all brand activities and several retailers and networks around the world have had to stop dealing with Huawei for fear of sanctions from the US government.

However, there was a slight delay because on May 20, the US Department of Commerce issued a temporary license for Huawei to work with US companies, meaning that US companies could resume partnerships with the brand in the short term.

Read more about the Huawei ban:

  • Huawei ' s Android rival is incoming and compatible with Play Store apps
  • Microsoft is removing Huawei laptops from the store

However, this only lasts until August 19 and it is unclear how Huawei will be able to get the full license to work with US companies while the government regards it as a threat to national security.

The temporary license did not lead to an increase in the efforts of companies such as Panasonic or Microsoft and more brands are following this example.

So for now it seems that this is nothing more than a delay to a hugely difficult time for Huawei and within a few months the company will no longer be able to provide access to crucial Google apps or to work with vital technologies.

The company saw growth slowly in April as the ban began to cast a shadow, but since then other brands have withdrawn from relationships with Huawei, so it was expected that May would offer even worse results.

In addition, the ban on Huawei has expanded to include involvement with the Wi-Fi Alliance and SD Association. It has been suspended for both, so the company's ability to shape the future of these core technologies is now under discussion.

Faced with all these setbacks, Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, took a positive view of the brand and said: "We will certainly be able to continue to serve our customers. Our mass production capacity is huge and adding Huawei to the entity list has no huge impact on us . We are making progress in global bidding. "

What does the ban mean if I have a Huawei phone?

Perhaps the most useful piece of information about current Huawei phones is Google's statement to TechRadar:

"We are following the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the Google Play Protect security protections continue to work on existing Huawei devices," said a spokesperson.

That's good news if you've just spent a lot of money on a Huawei P30 Pro: as mentioned above, current Chinese brand devices will continue to receive security updates and access to the Play Store in the near future, as Google has promised to keep nobody in to leave the cold.

The temporary lifting of the ban will also allow the two brands to prepare better Android support for current and future models, which means that Huawei will be able to do business as it was – so that current customers can benefit for longer can enjoy. Google has since resumed its relationship with Huawei, so that it can continue to offer benefits.

Huawei has also told TechRadar that it will continue to do everything it can to support current phones in the wild and is looking at other implications of Google's decision.

The company told us: "Huawei has made a substantial contribution to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of the most important global partners of Android, we have worked closely with their open source platform to develop an ecosystem that benefited both users and industry.

The Huawei sub brand Honor is also subject to the same restrictions. Credit image: TechRadar

"Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products for those that have been sold and are still in stock worldwide."

Huawei Australia has taken on sentiment and also claimed that "those who are planning to buy a Huawei device in the near future" need not worry about the sanctions, said Huaemy ' s Australian Director of Corporate Affairs , Jeremy Mitchell.

We asked for comments regarding the recent lifting of the ban, but Huawei declined.

Whether this will allow the flexible Mate X to start with & apos; full of fat & apos; Android remains to be seen, but that is probably a huge goal for the bran. It has spent huge sums on marketing that model since its unveiling in February and would like to establish its reputation as a technology leader.

However, it seems that the flexible phone is at least being postponed – the CEO of the UK network EE said during the launch of its 5G networks that the brand had temporarily stored away the phone while working to understand the implications of the trade prohibit.

UK retailer Dixons Carphone has followed this example and has stopped plans to launch the 5G handset as planned, while the UK is preparing to enter the next phase of connectivity.

So while the fact remains that current models will get quick updates, it is unclear how long they will last, and the fact that networks are already getting nervous about the sanctions won't make things easier for Huawei.

Although most smartphone brands will respect security updates for two to three years after the launch of a new device, you could expect this to be much shorter in the case of Huawei phones, given these limitations from Google.

What about future Huawei phones?

Credit image: TechRadar

The switch from Google means that it will no longer work with Huawei directly when issuing updates to its system and will not give the company access to the Google Play Store. This is a potentially critical blow to the Chinese brand, which only recently spoke of its plans to become the world's largest smartphone manufacturer.

This means that if Huawei wants to continue using the Android operating system, it must use the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP). This is a free system that any brand can use as an underlying basis for its products.

But along with the Google Play Store, it doesn't have access to major Google apps such as YouTube, Google Maps, and Chrome – these are core elements of Google ' s company that is not required to make it available to everyone.

Without access to the Play Store, Huawei would be forced to work directly with developers to ensure that they made versions of their wares for their phones. This situation would be similar to that of Amazon ' s Fire OS, which is based on AOSP but has its own app store, because the retail giant is trying to control the platform on which its Fire tablets and Echo devices run.

If Huawei has to use AOSP, the consequences can be devastating because access to a fully-stocked app store is crucial to the success of any modern smartphone – Nokia and Microsoft cannot make Windows Phone a useful alternative to Android and Apple ' s iOS to make. although both brands have put millions into developer tools and seduced the best app makers on their platform.

However, Huawei has claimed that it has been developing its own alternative to Android for nearly seven years, calling it a ' Plan B ' that is ready to use if it loses access to the services mentioned above – by naming and mentioning the HongMeng OS the alternative operating system will be launched at the end of 2019 or early 2020, and would work on "cell phones, computers, tablets, TV ' s, cars & smart portable devices."

In the latest statement to TechRadar, Huawei said, "We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem to provide the best experience for all users worldwide," which looks like it wants to generate a positive hype about its alternative. OS.

However, Huawei also said it would prefer to continue working with brands such as Google and Microsoft (whose Windows operating system runs on Huawei laptops) to offer the best experience – a sentiment it has since offered to all its suppliers, with the strong suggestion that it hopes to be able to resume actions when this ban is lifted.

Huawei also claims that it can still make smartphones and other devices with the components it has stored before the ban, as well as new partnerships around the world.

The brand has continued to say that working with international partners remains the best course of action, although it has confirmed that it should try to manage as much as possible in its own country.

Google Play Store

The Google Play Store is an important part of attracting users. Credit image: TechRadar.

"Huawei has worked hard on developing its own AppGallery and other software equipment in a similar way to chipset solutions." Ben Woods, head of Research at CCS Insight, told TechRadar. "There is little doubt that these efforts are part of her desire to control her own destiny."

If Huawei loses access to the Google Play Store, it takes a huge amount of investment to attract developers to create app options that keep users of their smartphones happy – and you have to wonder if the brand would be worth continuing Go with making phones altogether when faced with that kind of hurdle.

The same would also apply in the future to Honor, the sub brand of Huawei phones. Honor may have tried to distance itself from the parent company, but it has been confirmed that it falls under the same sanctions.

However, the launch of the brand's Honor 20 smartphone went ahead as planned and did not mention the problems the parent company was facing. So it is clear that devices that are currently made and in the supply chain are still supported in the Android ecosystem.

Since the news about the suspension of Android, more details are known about Huawei ' s plans for the App Gallery on the HongMeng OS: it has been reported that the brand offers app developers access to Chinese users, as well as financial incentives for networks to add his app portal to phones.

Developers could easily and quickly customize their Android apps to work on the Huawei platform and theoretically have access to a huge Chinese user base – although it remains to be seen whether Huawei phones will still be sold strongly enough for developers worldwide to update and maintain their apps.

What about the ARM news, is it really harmful?

A major problem for Huawei is that chip designer ARM will not work with the brand in the short term. That may sound strange, because it is a Japanese-owned brand with its UK headquarters, but because the designs use American technology, there is a fear that this might violate trade restrictions.

If the Huawei ban implies that it can use ARM reference designs in its chipsets, it would be incredibly difficult and costly for the brand to replace them – and it may prove impossible to raise further doubts about the future of Huawei & apos; s telephone arm.

A Huawei spokesperson told the BBC: "We attach great value to our close relationships with our partners, but we recognize the pressure some of them are experiencing as a result of politically motivated decisions.

"We are confident that this deplorable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world."

The upcoming Kirin 985 chipset is not expected to be affected, which would mean that Huawei may be able to release a new smartphone cycle before the ban really causes problems, but partners and networks are already starting to respond to the US & apos; suspension of marketing authorizations.

However, the loss of ARM support can take a little longer to be felt than previously thought: Huawei apparently received a permanent license to the most important ARM technology a few months ago, after seeing potential problems.

This would make it possible to continue to use these important chip designs in its phones, laptops and infrastructure equipment in the near future.

What about other brands? What does this mean for the broader smartphone world?

iPhone XS

Credit image: TechRadar

While these sanctions do not currently affect other brands, the message being sent is clear: global politics can have dramatic consequences for the production and marketing of consumer devices that have become indispensable for billions of people.

Although there is currently no problem with brands with headquarters in other parts of the world, a similar sanction could force other smartphone manufacturers to make a costly review.

A few years ago, Samsung seriously threatened an escape from Google's Android operating system because, according to him, the search giant had too much control over the operating system on its Galaxy smartphones.

It worked on the development of the Tizen operating system, which is still used on devices such as Samsung Galaxy ' s smartwatches, initiating negotiations with Google about allowing more freedom for manufacturers.

(It is worth noting that while Samsung did release smartphones based on Tizen, these were budget models and did not come so close to the success of its Galaxy phone range).

The big beneficiary here could be Apple – President Trump has long argued that the brand should move its activities from China to the US and exempt Apple from the trade rates imposed on China so that the brand would not have to raise its prices to feed.

Huawei has been a thorn in the eye of Apple lately, with the rise of the Chinese brand as it usurped its Cupertino-based rival in the global rankings and became a serious competitor in the premium smartphone space – and Trump clearly wants the American tech seeing giant does more business at home.

However, moving its activities from China would be incredibly expensive for Apple, and it would still have to buy many components from Asia to build future iPhones, so it is unclear what the effect would be for both the company and the US economy.

The loss of Huawei as a major player in the global smartphone market can also have a greater impact on the smartphones that other suppliers are pushing out. The aggressive development of new technological capabilities by the Chinese brand has forced rivals to significantly improve their devices and put forward new developments of their own, and any reduction in their impact would probably slow development speed.

The success of the Huawei camera with camera ' s has demonstrably started a race to offer cameras ' s that have improved the sharpness, color and overall image quality in the last two years. The brand's P series has relentlessly pushed the boundaries of what is possible.

The company is also in a race with Samsung to release the first widely available folding phone – and the existence of the Huawei Mate X has forced the South Korean brand to accelerate its development of a bending device, which means that consumers gain access to the technology earlier (although Samsung probably would have preferred to deliver the Galaxy Fold …).

So is it ready for Huawei?

There is a glimmer of hope for Huawei ' s continued use of Android and the possibilities that this offers.

The recent ban on lifting means that there is a real chance that negotiations with the US government can start, allowing the brand to prove itself as ' safe & apos; and departure from the midst of the trade war between China and the US. This is by no means certain, but it certainly looks less bleak for the brand.

Google has also confirmed that it is reviewing the situation and implications of US sanctions ' – it does not want to limit the reach of its Android ecosystem, and American brands such as Qualcomm will be severely affected by the Huawei restrictions, so is likely to lobby to have this decision re-examined.

However, if Google is forced to shut down Huawei from future Android security updates and access to the Play Store, it can not only make things difficult for Huawei, but consumers can also find out that any Chinese brand is suspicious – and given the proliferation and technological competence of the latest phones coming from that country, that would also have a huge impact on the industry.

So although this move only seems to affect Huawei now, it will have a knock-on effect for the entire industry, and it will probably affect the next smartphone you buy – and it could also mean the emergence of a new mobile phone . operating system, and possibly a serious challenger for Android.

  • What about laptops? Microsoft cannot say at the moment
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