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Home / Business / Huawei could survive without Android, but it would not be nice

Huawei could survive without Android, but it would not be nice

Possibly, the US government banned Huawei from using software or hardware developed by American companies but China's massive phone maker believes the lack of American partner support will not break the brand, Even though Android-based devices are being cut off by Android, Google is breaking ties with President Trump's orders. No stranger to tensions with the US government, Huawei has proved that it does not need US air carriers to expand its business . Huawei is the world's largest provider of network devices and the second largest phone brand. The technology giant has reportedly worked on its own operating system as an alternative to Android software (and its own Huawei app store ) if relations with US companies are to go south , And it goes south. It was not until today that Huawei was suspended by the Wi-Fi Alliance and removed from the SD Association, which established guidelines for the SD memory cards used in telephones and other devices.

"Our business will not end" We have prepared well, "said Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei, to Chinese journalists this week." Earlier this year, I predicted that this would happen. … We thought we had two years to prepare. When Meng Wanzhou was arrested, it sparked everything. "

Not surprisingly, Huawei has been in the crosshairs of the US government for years, a de facto ban in 201

2 (some could call it a strong urge) that effectively keeps Huawei phones away despite prior US carrier relationships .

However, a look at the current smartphone market shows how the company might fail if it tries Android and iOS form a duopoly, with IDC running 86% of the world's phones on Android, about 14% on the iPhone's iOS and 0% on another platform.

The Times when three, four, and even five mobile operating systems fought for supremacy are far behind us, and recent outages – Windows Phone BlackBerry OS and WebOS – have long since crumpled or switched to Android. [19659002] Even de r Competitor Samsung, which has circulated its own open-source operating system Tizen (which you see on Samsung smartwatches, such as the Galaxy Watch Active), could not do any significant dent. Huawei's opportunity to create a third operating system will be most successful in its home country of China, where it sells 50% of 60% of its total phones (estimates vary by source).

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What's going on between Huawei and the US?


In markets outside China such as Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Latin America, an operating system that does not fully support Android means that customers have to say goodbye to key services like Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Assistant.

"The operating system is less of an immediate problem for Huawei than the lack of Google applications," said Ben Wood, head or researcher at CCS Insight, in a report on the situation. "There is no doubt that Huawei needs access to the full range of Google apps and services necessary for success in Western markets."

Temporarily resolved restrictions mean that Huawei and Google can continue to work together. If current Huawei Android phones, such as the Huawei P30 Pro, are being provided with security updates and Google's Android services by August 19, the loss of Google's Android support for future phones may lead to disaster for Huawei's business and the global smartphone market as a whole.

"We expect trade wars to threaten a potential 5% decline in worldwide mobile phone shipments in 2019," said Wood.

Read : Everything You Need to Know About The Huawei Controversy

Huawei does not need Android, but the alternatives would not be easy

Huawei phones in China already work without Google apps and services, even though Android lays the foundation. Google search and other software services are blocked in China . Even on Android-based phones, Google Play Services and other apps will not work.

This means that Huawei phones are already using alternative apps and software for maps, emails and videos in their home market – there is no Google Maps, Google Search, Google Assistant, Gmail or YouTube. Security services such as Google Play Protect and software for syncing contacts and offline services are also becoming more important.

Like Huawei and Honor phones sold outside of China, Huawei uses a homemade interface, like many other brands. In the case of Huawei, the Emotion user interface (EMUI) has icons on the startup screens, so the software interface looks more like iOS than Android in some ways.

If these devices are already operated according to their own rules, it is easy to see how Huawei could demolish the band-aid and operate it alone. According to Ren, Huawei has between 80,000 and 90,000 research and development engineers throughout the company, some of whom are preparing for "Plan B" or, as the CEO called them, "spare tires".

"I'm not sure if consumers want a third OS," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Creative Strategies. "It certainly would not help in the US, but it could make a difference in Europe as long as developers are ported and they continue to receive Google services, which in my opinion is the hardest part."

Even if Huawei was to move forward, a Huawei operating system is "far from ready," the information said. The internal software project "had its ups and downs and is far from finished," sources of the release said.

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei had been awarded the Hongmeng brand by the Chinese National Intellectual Property Office for its operating system after working under the internal code name "Project Z".

However, Huawei is unlikely to receive an immediate replacement if the US government's ban on future phones persists.

What about foldable phones? Huawei did not announce which operating system it uses on the foldable Mate X which is intended for a summer version, but Google has worked closely with manufacturers of foldable phones and delivered software that apps quickly from a smaller screen Align to the larger screen when deployed and back again.

It is unclear whether Google's demarcation would delay Huawei's ability to compete in this next Samsung competition.

Samsung declined to comment.

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The open source option does not solve the app problem of Huawei

Huawei could of course also continue to operate Android-based phones without Google's active partnership. AOSP, the Android Open Source Project, is a free code that anyone can use. But choosing this route would put Huawei in default of months. Early access to new OS builds such as Android Q, regular security patches and technical support is lost.

Please note that the US Department of Commerce has reduced some restrictions to allow Android support for existing Huawei and Honor mobile phones. It's these future phones – like the Huawei Mate 30 or the P40 Pro – that hold the scales here.

"There are workarounds for these international markets, but none that are attractive because Google services are so ubiquitous," said Wayne Lam, principal analyst at IHS Markit. "One thought is that Huawei can leave the bootloader unlocked and provide tools that allow point of sale employees / engineers to flash the ROM again to bypass the Google brand, but this has its own challenges. "


The Huawei P30 Pro has stronger camera tools than the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.

Angela Lang / CNET

If global buyers of future Huawei phones need to load apps and games from US companies instead of downloading them directly from an app store, even from Huawei, there is little doubt that customers who have finally left Windows Phone and BlackBerry that would keep it from operating because they could not deploy the apps and services that Android and iOS could provide.

"There are so many choices and so much insecurity for a consumer who has alternatives at the end of the day," said Milanesi

It's likely that Huawei's customers outside of China are without the App Store and the services of Google would move on.

Read : Huawei's problems are good for Samsung.

Will we even get to this point?

There is a possibility that China and the US government will solve the problem before a dispute arises. President Trump has already announced to consider Huawei as a lever for a trade agreement with China which means that Huawei may have the opportunity to reunite with its old business associates.

The US government has already waned its attitude to protecting consumers who own Huawei phones. The Chinese ZTE brand was also cut off by its US suppliers in to be salvaged by Trump in a tweet in 2018 when their business came to a standstill.

"The goal of the Trump government is to demand trade concessions from China – especially in dealing with intellectual property," Lam said. "Whether or not the Trump administration can pull this off is questionable, given that next year is an election year, I would assume that this trade dispute will be resolved in the near future."

"Huawei is undoubtedly hoping for a speedy return to normal business," Wood said.

Huawei has not commented on this story.

Originally released on May 23 at 9:28.
Update, 12:29 pm PT : Adds that Huawei and Samsung did not want to comment.
Update May 24 at 6:21 pm PT : Adds a report on the Hongmeng brand.
Update May 24 at 11:24 pm PT : Adds a report on the distance from the Wi-Fi Alliance and the SD Association.
Update from May 25 at 4 o'clock in the morning. :
Adds a report on leverage in the China Trade Agreement.
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