Is Google Underrating Huawei’s Power?
Google recently announced its withdrawal of android operating licence from Huawei. This came as Trump administration adds Huawei to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List via executive order, thereby blacklisting the company and other US company like Qualcomm and Intel to cease business with the Chinese company.
The withdrawal of the Android operating licence means Huawei phones that rely on Google’s own services like Gmail, Google Drive, Maps and YouTube, will likely need to find alternatives. Considering how many people are locked into these options and enjoy the convenience of having their information synced across various devices, it is considered a big blow.
The loss of Android support also means Huawei handsets will no longer get OS updates. So if you were holding out for Android Q or even Android Pie to arrive on your device, you might have to give up.
In another release, the US Department issued a Temporary General License to the company necessary to maintain and support existing and currently fully operational networks and equipment, including software updates.
Responding to the ban, Huawei spokesperson, Gleen Schloss says “Huawei has been building an alternative operating system just in case it is needed. We would like to be able to continue operating in the Microsoft and Google ecosystems.”
Pundits believed that the move could be headway for the Chinese company to develop its own operating system without the help of Google. Currently, Huawei remains the second-largest phone maker ahead of Apple.
Huawei’s plan B: The company has an option to move forward without Google, according to several spokespersons. “We have been making a plan for this possible outcome,” said Huawei’s Jeremy Thompson, executive vice president in the U.K, speaking to the BBC. “We have a parallel program in place to develop an alternative. We would rather work with Android but if it doesn’t happen in the future we have an alternative in place which we think will delight our customers.”
Is the Chinese company capable of making its own chips? Huawei uses lower-end Qualcomm processors for some of its midrange phones. But in recent years, it’s been moving its handset business towards adopting its own Kirin chipsets and Balong modems. Huawei’s Kirin 900-series options of late have proven to be powerful enough to rival Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragons, so it’s likely its phones won’t suffer performance setbacks by switching.
The company clearly doesn’t need the US as it has been able to bloom off its business elsewhere in the world. The issue now is whether the rest of the world will continue to buy Huawei devices without Android operating system. Given the popularity of Google’s OS around the globe, Huawei seriously needs to deliver adequate app and OS replacements if it needs to survive outside its native China.