Huawei has been among the top smartphone companies worldwide over the years. Being a driving force in the adaption of 5G, Huawei is the second largest smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung, all around the world. It has been supplying its products and services in more than 170 countries for the past decade or so. But in the past few days, the company has been targeted by the US who repeatedly alleged Huawei devices to be used for espionage. Trump has barred US government agencies, its private contractors, and its allies from using Huawei smartphones and other products.
The reasons for cutting the Google and Android ties with Huawei are the security threats. As we can see in Trumps statement, “Huawei is something that’s very dangerous. You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, from a military standpoint, it’s very dangerous. So it’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of a trade deal. If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form, some part of a trade deal.”
The reason seems to be a bit contradictory. If Huawei is causing security threats to the US, what about the other Chinese companies? This “espionage” can’t be done by Huawei or some other company alone, it must have some kind of government involvement behind. In this regard, the Chinese government would have to take an alternative step and contact another Chinese company in the US to do the espionage. So, the main point is, why only Huawei, why can’t they ban all the Chinese companies in the US if they are involved in espionage? Another reason that is not tolerated much, may be because of Huawei getting ahead of the US companies in launching 5G. This reason also backs the fact that only Huawei is being targeted.
The US market may be at loss following this decision, but the major sufferer is Huawei itself, who generated a revenue of $107.1 billion in 2018. It will be a huge catastrophe, but good news for its competitors. Following the government orders, Google has separated Huawei from the Android partner program, commenting that the latter will no longer have “access to proprietary apps and services from Google.” This would mean that Huawei is no longer able to use Google and its other programs including play store, Android, etc.
Huawei has got very few options left. It will have to create its own operating system if it has to survive. If it simply relies on the second part of Trump’s words, some part of a trade deal is not going to help much. It has either to be full access to Google or no access because customers are not going to spend money in buying gadgets with limited access and options. On the other hand, if Huawei does generate its own operating system and applications, it will still not be enough to maintain its sale. Many people who don’t use iPhone, also think that it has its own applications, operating system, everything, so its not easy to use. Still iPhone has a great number of consumers because of its reliability. But Huawei is a different brand altogether. Even if it does generate its own operating system and programs, people may not choose it because most of them are familiar with Android only. Alternatively, Huawei could keep going with Android and use AOSP builds to continue providing EMUI updates. But in that case, Huawei will not be able to support Google, play store and other apps supported by Google. This will limit the user big time and he may stop using it. All in all, Huawei is in a deep trouble.
Another factor is its existing users. People have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in buying Huawei products, are under an enormous stress.
This tweet may be a kind of a solace for the consumers but not an eternal solution. Everyone is under stress about what is going to happen in the future. The local markets will stop buying used cell phones and other devices. Android’s complying with all the US government requirements may or may not work, but overall, Huawei finds itself under a big crisis.