Huawei and the nightmare called Android

The future of the world's second-largest smartphone maker suddenly became obscure after Google decided to stop providing it with Android.

After the ban of US President Donald Trump, the most frightening thing finally came to Huawei. Google announced to stop providing Android updates, terminating access to core services like Google Play Store. , Gmail, YouTube for Chinese technology firm's devices in the future.

As the world's second largest smartphone manufacturer, 100% of Huawei smartphones use the Android operating system. This move will certainly impact strongly and change the global phone market. Huawei claims to have prepared years ago for the prospect of not buying parts from the US, but they may not have found an Android alternative.

Being gotten out of Android

On May 19, Reuters published shocking information: Google stopped some areas of cooperation with Huawei, asking partners to hand over all hardware and software products. This decision was made shortly after the US President issued a ban on Huawei to use components and products provided by US companies, including software. Thus, in the future Huawei will not receive Android updates from Google. The company's current Android devices will continue to use the software and access existing services but will not receive Google's new software and operating system updates.

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The list of Android Q upgraded phones announced by Huawei earlier this month is at risk of stagnation. Even customers who have signed a contract to buy phones through the operators also have to wait for the next information to determine whether they can still support the new Android update. More seriously, in the future, Huawei phones will be sold to the market without true Android installation, access to the Play Store app store, and core Google software and services available such as Gmail, YouTube, and Google Assistant.

Huawei is still using the open source version of Android AOSP. However, the perfection of this version cannot be compared with Android distributed by Google to manufacturers and operators. Not to mention the update time on AOSP is also longer, security patches also appear less, slower. Google services are also not available on this open source version.

No alternative solutions yet

Although it has prepared for the possibility of being embargoed by the United States for many years, Huawei has yet to find an alternative for Android.

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Both Huawei and Honor - the sub-brand that produces smartphones for emerging markets have yet to respond to this shocking information. However, many previous reports show that they have thought of the future without Android. Without buying Qualcomm's chipset, Huawei has a Kirin line manufactured by HiSilicon, and even a 5G modem can guarantee itself. However, Android is a completely different matter.

Using AOSP with EMUI customizable interface, without Google Play, YouTube, Gmail is not too big a problem in the Chinese market, where official Google applications are often not provided, users are used to using alternative solutions. However, Huawei sells smartphones across Europe and Asia, where Google Play cannot be replaced by any other app store.

In April 2018, when asked whether Huawei thought of building an alternative operating system for Android, Chairman Honor Zhao Ming said that it was possible but not really necessary, Huawei still cooperated closely with Google in developing Android.

Most importantly, lessons from Windows Phone of Microsoft and Tizen of Samsung show that the app store is vital to the mobile operating system. Even if Huawei develops an alternative operating system, it is important whether Google services will be available on it. Otherwise, the application ecosystem is also a barrier for users outside of China, similar to Windows Phone, Tizen and other mobile operating systems. Therefore, even if Huawei is capable of building mobile operating systems, it is difficult to replace Android immediately because there is no such ecosystem and app store as Google products.

By: Grace White

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