Updated Google will pull Play Store and other services from future shipments of Huawei mobile phones.
If you’ve got a Huawei phone in your pocket, you can still get updates to your apps but future devices shipped by the world’s second largest handset maker will not get access to the latest Android operating system or Google services like Play Store, Gmail and YouTube.
Referring to last week’s US presidential executive order, which started the ball rolling to cut the likes of Huawei off from American tech, Google said:
The news will be a huge blow to Huawei’s international ambitions to be the number one mobe seller by 2020. Huawei’s handset sales went up by 50 per cent in the last quarter to steal the second spot globally with 59.1 million sales.
Apple’s iPhone sales fell 23 per cent to 40.2 million in the same quarter.
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“Huawei has created highly competitive hardware but Google services and Android OS are still critical to consumers in international markets,” tech analyst Canalys said this morning.
Huawei can still access open-source parts of Android.
Back in 2016, Huawei was reported to be hiring ex-Nokia developers for “secret phone OS project”, at the time seen as a way to fend off Google attempts to further tighten its grip on Android. Just two months ago, Huawei’s mobile chief Richard Yu was clearly authorised to confirm this information, letting it slip out in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt. Huawei later confirmed that it had started work on its own operating system by 2012, when the US first opened an investigation into Huawei and fellow Chinese manufacturer ZTE.
In what would constitute a further blow, Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcomm will reportedly stop supplying Huawei with components, according to Bloomberg.
German chipmaker Infineon will also halt sales, according to Nikkei.
Can’t do it the US way? Then we’ll do it Huawei – and roll our own mobile operating system
A spokesbod for Infineon sent us a statement saying that in markets it operates, the company “comply with all applicable legal requirements, laws and regulations”.
“As of today, the great majority of products Infineon delivers to Huawei is not subject to US export control law restrictions, therefore those shipments will continue.
“We have a set of measures in place to thoroughly monitor any possible changes in the legal frameworks of our respective markets, enabling us to make adaptions in our international supply chain,” Infineon added.
Late last week, in line with the aforementioned executive order, the Trump administration put Huawei on its official Entity List – effectively blacklisting US companies’ trade with the firm. Whether the latest moves are seen as political and how Huawei and the Chinese government react remains to be seen.
Huawei told us it has no comment to make at the time of writing. ®
Updated at 08:47 UTC to add
Huawei has contacted The Reg with the following statement:
“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 have been sold or still in stock globally.”
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