The smartphone landscape is cut-throat. HTC? Gone. Sony? Motorola? LG? Struggling.
But Huawei have enjoyed a massive rise to fame. They were already huge in China, but they’re now huge in various places around the world and, here in the UK their phones are selling like hot cakes.
One of my contacts once told me that “Huawei want to sell as many phones as possible because at the end of the day, a lot of Huawei kit powers the mobile networks. The more phones they sell, the more Huawei networking kit they can sell”.
Back in 2015 I went to China too look at the company for myself. It’s huge operation, with living quarters, a university, massive R&D locations, factories, production-lines and design teams. Make no mistake, it was clear that they were about to hit the big time across the world, and they weren’t shy about their ambitions….
This week you’ll see special series of posts documenting my trip to China. It has the world’s biggest economy, where people buy more smartphones than any
I enter into the Huawei Cloud Park. It’s a modern office complex with relaxed-looking staff holding coffee as they scan through security terminals. I walk
After far too much alcohol, I’m experiencing a painful ride across Shenzhen in the warm morning heat. The three hours of sleep and my 30-second “panic
Their innovations have helped push the Huawei brand into the collective consciousness, and their own CPU’s have also given them an edge over competitors. In addition, their sub-brand, Honor, has performed well.
But now we’re hitting some very rocky waters. The lovely Mr Trump has started a trade war with China, and signed an executive order to stop US companies from using telecoms kit supplied by “foreign adversaries” which pose “unacceptable risks” to national security. Huawei was added to that list, which Trump considered to be part of a “national emergency”. It means that Huawei couldn’t supply 5G voice and data equipment to the US, because the US thought that the Chinese government, working with Huawei, were spying on the US.
Think about that for a minute though, and consider just how much information Google (an American company) has on you right now.
Anyways, here in the UK we’ve approved Huawei kit being used for “non-core” bits of the 5G equipment, such as masts. Meanwhile Australia and New Zealand have banned Huawei tech from 5G too. France, Belgium, Germany and other European countries haven’t, however, placed an out-right ban on the Huawei networking kit as yet.
Today, though, things got a whole lot worse. Google have banned Huawei from some of the Android updates on their smartphones. This is a massive blow which we’ve can’t really understate. The American company said ….
We are complying with the (US executive) order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.
This means that Huawei can continue to provide security updates for current Huawei and Honor phones, but the new version of Android and apps such as Google Maps, YouTube, even Gmail, may not arrive on all Huawei devices. Oh, and no Google Play either, which is… well, a death-knell unless this gets sorted out.
At worst, this would mean that Huawei would be trying to sell phones with an outdated Google Android OS and no Google apps. That would be an impossibility.
To add to their woes, before anything actually happens, these negative newspaper headlines are going to impact sales.
Huawei – as you’ll have seen above – have a huge amount of talent, man-power and resources. They already have their own app store and their own CPU architecture. They could look at a new OS, or perhaps they could adapt and augmenting the Android OS, perhaps side-loading Google apps or something similar ?
Either way, the US-China trade war is now causing massive changes across the world, and Huawei customers globally could see their new smartphones deprived of essential Google apps and Android updates. Donald Trump has just restricted your choice of smartphone. Huawei and Honor, if things don’t change, could struggle to sell new phones shortly.
In my opinion? Well, this is the price that customers are having to pay thanks to the insular and restrictive practices of the US government. Trade wars like this will only get uglier. I personally don’t buy the “national emergency” excuse. Huawei’s handset sales went by 50% in the last quarter, while Apple’s iPhone sales fell 23%. Trump and Tim Cook met just weeks ago.
Perhaps China will retaliate by blocking all iPhone exports to America?
My brutal opinion? I’m absolutely furious. The is Google acting on the orders of a complete unhinged American President.
Google knows where you live, where you work, every place you’ve visited, all your passwords, who you email and what your voice sounds like thanks to your Android phone. Meanwhile there doesn’t seem to be any hard evidence of this “Huawei spying” but action is being taken anyway. Huawei sales are rising rapidly, and this is just childish retaliation. It doesn’t just impact customers in the USA, but all Huawei and Honor customers everywhere. And who’s next? Will Trump add Samsung? Or Xiaomi? Or OnePlus?
This is blinkered, inward-looking, small-minded stupidity from Donald Trump which will reduce choice for everyone across the world.