Everything You Need to Know About Huawei Android Ban

Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone vendor based on mobile phone shipments was hit with a major bombshell yesterday when Google suspended select businesses with the Chinese company, a move which is being dubbed as Huawei Android ban.

The trade war between China and the U.S has been brewing for quite some time and amid all the diplomatic tensions, President Trump passed an executive order last week to restrict U.S companies from supplying products to Huawei.

Complying with the order, Google, owned by US tech company Alphabet Inc. had to pull out from providing the Android operating system and a variety of apps for the Huawei users. While many other companies including the chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm’s dealings with Huawei were also affected, Google has taken the center stage because of its direct repercussions on the current and upcoming Huawei devices.

To make the whole situation quite easy to understand, we have created a timeline of updates regarding the Huawei Android ban. (the latest updates are at the bottom of the timeline)

  • Trump’s executive order restricting U.S companies from supplying products to Huawei
  • Huawei has been removed from the Android partner program
  • Huawei will no longer have access to proprietary apps and services from Google
  • Google has announced that it is reviewing the implications of Trump’s executive order
  • Future Huawei smartphones will not be able to install the Play store app
  • Huawei cannot apply for evaluation of devices under the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS), which is necessary for any OEM to pass otherwise it cannot use the Android branding and apps like the Google Play Store, YouTube, Google Search, Chrome, etc. out-of-the-box on its devices.
  • Future users will not be able to just side-load APKs for these services as Google prohibits CTS-unverified devices from running its apps
  • All apps using Google’s API to facilitate log in will be blocked on future devices by Huawei and Honor
  • Google has confirmed that the current Huawei users can access the Google Play store app and can continue to update their other mobile apps
  • Huawei and Honor cannot send newer updates to their smartphones and if it does, Google will not forcibly remove Google Play Services and Google apps from the existing smartphones
  • The company will not be able to access the code for Google’s monthly security patches before the public release due to Huawei Android ban
  • Both Huawei and Honor can no longer be a member of the Android beta programs, which will start with the commercial release of next year’s Android R
  • Huawei has the option to build a custom version of OS using “Android Open Source Project” (AOSP) code
  • Huawei released an official statement confirming that it will “continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products.”
  • Huawei previously confirmed that it has developed its very own operating system in case they won’t be able to use Android OS due to U.S policies
  • US has lifted the Huawei ban for 90 days and in this time period, the Chinese firm can work with US corporations to provide support to its existing smartphone users
  • Huawei hits back at the US and calls the act of restrictions bullying while talking to Reuters. It also said that the company is working closely with Google to understand the impact of the ban and work out a solution to minimize user discomfort
  • Google will be sending security updates to Huawei phones till 19th August (during the 90 days extension provided by the US government)
  • Huawei’s sub-group Honor releases Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro premium mid-range phones
  • Google silently removed Huawei Mate 20 Pro from Android Q beta program
  • UK chipset designer, ARM suspends business with Huawei, putting the Chinese company’s chipset business in hot waters. According to ARM, the company’s dealings are also affected by the Huawei ban as its designs contain US-origin technology

Huawei’s trade war with the US has entered into a new chapter with Trump’s new executive order. The smartphone maker was previously denied entry into the market and had been slapped with a list of security and spying concerns from the country’s intelligence agency. Still, the company managed a double-digit increase (50.3% to be exact) in its smartphone sales in Q1 2019 while Samsung and Apple suffered from the decrease in shipments.

Huawei P30 Pro has already put the smartphone company on a high pedestal above the flagships of Samsung and Apple. At the same time, Honor is ready to unveil its Honor 20 devices tomorrow. It is working hard on the innovation front and thus, it will be a huge blow for US companies as well if they were forced to give up on working with Huawei in the future.

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