The saga of Huawei and how the US government may eventually put it out of business is a fascinating thing to watch. Once they were put on the trade blacklist for allegedly spying for the Chinese government, the fallout from this has been quick and possibly insurmountable. Google has been the biggest company to pull out of dealings with Huawei but now carriers are also following suit. UK companies like Vodafone and EE have now said they won’t be carrying the Huawei Mate 20X 5G smartphone.
The upcoming smartphone from Huawei was supposed to have been one of the launch devices for the new 5G network. But now these UK carriers have announced that they are pausing pre-orders on the device. Vodafone said that it may be a temporary measure as they are reviewing the “uncertainty” surrounding new Huawei devices and probably Huawei itself. EE says they are worried with the “consistency of support” given that if things don’t change, Huawei users will not get support from Google.
Initially, the decision by Google was to immediately pull support for Android on Huawei devices but a last-minute negotiation with the U.S Commerce Department gives them a 90-day extension where they will be allowed to issue software updates, including security updates, to existing phones and goods that were purchased in the US. After the reprieve though, things are pretty uncertain even though Huawei is hopeful that things will be resolved by then.
They’re already working on their own operating system in case Android will eventually not work for Huawei devices but that will be a huge challenge for them to convince developers to come on board. They still have access to the Android Open Source Project so we don’t know if it will be based on that or something that was started from scratch.
Over the next few days we’ll probably see more companies distancing themselves from Huawei given the pressure that the US government is bringing to US companies and even to their allies.