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This article was published on May 20, 2019

What Trump’s Huawei blacklisting means for you

What Trump’s Huawei blacklisting means for you
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

In just 24 hours, Huawei smartphones have gone from thriving to endangered. Last night, Google announced that it’s ceasing business with the company. This means it won’t be allowed to use Google Play services, or proprietary apps like Gmail and Google maps for its upcoming phones.

And it’s getting worse for the Chinese tech company. Only this morning, chip companies like Qualcomm and Intel also reportedly stopped trading with the Chinese tech company.

What does it mean for the user? If you own a Huawei or an Honor phone, you’ll get security updates from the company, and still keep on using the Play Store.

Because of this ban, Huawei will be able to use only the public version of Android – Android Open Source Project (AOSP) – for its current and upcoming devices. So you won’t receive a platform update, for instance, Android’s upcoming version, Q. But, if you already own a Huawei phone, it will keep on working with the current version of the OS.

And it’s not just phones. Huawei makes laptops under its Matebook brand – all of which use Intel processors. It’ll be near impossible for the company to release a new laptop until it finds a suitable replacement.

Huawei has responded to this saga with a statement saying it will provide security updates and after sales support to it’s active or in-stock phones:

Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.

Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.

In the last few years, Huawei had gained a lot of ground in the international market, even dethroning Apple from second place in the market. If it’s to keep selling phones globally, Huawei must make its own operating system with an alternative app store. And while the company makes its own processors and modems, it has to find alternatives for the chip companies that have banned it.

If you own a Huawei or Honor device, you’ll be fine for at least a year – providing the company’s true to its word and sends out regular security updates. But, if you were thinking of picking up the latest P30 Pro or any other Huawei devices, you might want to wait until the smoke clears, or look for alternatives.

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