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Author Topic: The Huawei ban explained: A complete timeline 2/2  (Read 84 times)

Online javajolt

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The Huawei ban explained: A complete timeline 2/2
« on: January 09, 2021, 06:48:19 PM »
Huawei in 2020: A very different environment

Throughout 2019 Huawei probably hoped that the US government would either weaken the ban or remove it entirely. However, by the time 2020 came around, there were no indications that the Huawei ban was going to let up any time soon.

This put the company’s standing in the smartphone market in serious doubt. If you’ll remember, Huawei originally boasted in 2016 that it would be the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer by the end of 2020. In early 2019, it was nearly a certainty that it would achieve that goal a full year ahead of schedule. Now, with the Huawei ban, the company’s long-running string of success was poised to come to a screeching halt.

Although the Mate 30 series had sold well in Huawei’s native China and made comfortable sales throughout the rest of the world, it was no runaway success. Consumers outside of China simply aren’t ready for a premium smartphone that can’t access the Google Play Store or even popular third-party apps such as Uber.

Huawei’s answer to this was App Gallery — its proprietary Android apps store. Like the Play Store, App Gallery hosts a bunch of Android apps you can install on your phone. Huawei is spending millions on enticing developers to port their apps to App Gallery with varying degrees of success. While App Gallery has certainly come a long way in a short period of time, it’s by no means at all a solid replacement for the Play Store.

Huawei P40 and Mate 40 series: Still no Google

On March 26, 2020, Huawei unveiled the Huawei P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Pro Plus. The three phones feature all the flagship hardware one would expect from a P series device, including an absolutely incredible rear camera system.

On October 22, 2020, Huawei unveiled the Mate 40, Mate 40 Pro, and Mate 40 Pro Plus. These phones also were marvels when it comes to hardware and design.

Of course, none of the phones had Google apps. All the hardware in the world can’t make up for that.

As with the Mate 30 series, the P40 and Mate 40 series received great reviews. Once again, though, most publications — including Android Authority — advised against buying the phones due to the lack of Google services.

Somehow, Huawei continues being successful

Now, you would think that with things being as they are that Huawei would be struggling to stay afloat. However, not only is Huawei doing okay, but it’s actually doing really well. In fact, just recently it finally made good on its promise and passed Samsung as the number one smartphone manufacturer as assessed by units shipped.

How is this possible? As mentioned before, you should never underestimate the power of 1.4 billion Chinese citizens all backing up their beloved homegrown brand. Also, don’t forget that Huawei doesn’t just make smartphones. It also still supplies networking systems to multiple countries all around the world.

The question is, though, whether or not Huawei can sustain this forever. It might be able to depend on China exclusively for sustainability — and even growth — for now. But it’s eventually going to need to rekindle its success internationally, too.

Plus, the Huawei ban has far-reaching effects with which the company still needs to contend.

Huawei ban brings the end of Kirin chipsets

Unlike a lot of smartphone manufacturers, Huawei almost exclusively uses its own chipsets in its smartphones and tablets. Its line of Kirin processors are designed by Huawei and then produced by a company called TSMC.

At first, TSMC assured Huawei — and the tech industry in general — that it would continue to produce Huawei’s Kirin chipsets. However, it recently rolled back on that declaration, likely because the Huawei ban is now in full effect (i.e. all the extensions are over).

Without TSMC, Huawei is essentially unable to create Kirin chipsets. At first, it was assumed the Mate 40 would be the final phone launched with a Kirin chipset. However, rumors abound that the 2021 Huawei P50 could have the same Kirin processor as the Mate 40.

There aren’t many other companies out there that can create processors for Huawei that don’t involve US-based companies or equipment. The only real option is a Chinese firm called MediaTek. As such, it’s very likely we’ll see Huawei flagships with MediaTek chips in the future, even if it doesn’t end up happening for the P50 series.

Huawei sells off Honor sub-brand

Although Huawei’s sub-brand Honor operated semi-independently, it was still officially part of the Huawei family. This meant that the effects of the Huawei ban carried over to it. In November 2020, Huawei sold off Honor to a Chinese company called Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co.

In an official statement on the matter, Huawei attributed the quick sale to the “tremendous pressure” it’s under from the US government.

With the completion of this sale, Honor will have no direct connection to Huawei. This will free it up to act as its own brand without any of the limitations related to the US sanctions.

Honor is a very successful global smartphone brand that moves around 70 million units annually. This separation will allow that brand to continue to grow and thrive. However, it is unclear how Honor will move forward without the assistance offered by Huawei. For example, Honor phones run on Huawei’s EMUI Android skin — will it adopt its own skin? Where will it get its processors now that Huawei can’t supply them? There are a lot of questions.

2020, 2021, and beyond: Can Huawei survive?

Huawei has had a rocky time since May 15, 2019, to put it mildly. So far, it’s weathered the storm incredibly well. However, how long can it keep the ship afloat with so much stacked against it?

Huawei knows that no matter what the Huawei-US ban can’t touch its Chinese business. Huawei is so beloved in China that the company could become a China-only brand and survive handily for decades. Huawei isn’t the kind of company that would roll over that easily, though.

As far as we can tell, Huawei plans to move forward with its usual plans of releasing two major flagship phones each year as well as other smaller launches whenever it’s appropriate. It can’t use Google apps, but it can still use Android. It can’t use the Play Store, but the App Gallery is getting stronger. It can’t make its own processors, but there are other companies from which it can buy chips. In the background, it has an operating system that could break it away from ever needing to depend on a US company again.

The question then becomes whether or not the company can do all this quickly enough to prevent it from losing market share. Also, can it prevent its brand from being tarnished too much by this debacle to win over consumers who simply can’t imagine a phone without Gmail? Time will tell. But Huawei shouldn’t be written off easily — it’s already proven it can survive things that many other companies couldn’t.

Do you currently own a Huawei phone?

If you currently own a Huawei or Honor phone, you might have some questions about how the Huawei ban affects you. Below are some frequently asked questions.

Q: Is Huawei spying on me through my phone?

A: Huawei is almost certainly tracking how you use your device, but every smartphone company does this. Smartphone OEMs want to know how often you unlock your phone, how often you charge it, how often you open certain apps, etc., so it can use that info to make better products. However, if you are scared that Huawei is actively monitoring you specifically for nefarious purposes, there has never been any evidence to support this claim.

Q: Is it illegal to own a Huawei device outside of China?

A: It’s not illegal to own a Huawei device anywhere in the world. The Huawei ban prevents Huawei from working with US-based companies in the creation of its products. It doesn’t apply to consumers who currently own a Huawei product and doesn’t prevent them from buying new ones, either.

Q: Can I legally sell my Huawei device?

A: As long as there are no laws in your location preventing you from selling used phones, you’re free to sell your Huawei device. Trump’s executive order says nothing about reselling used Huawei products.

Q: Will my phone eventually stop working altogether?

A: You don’t need to worry about this. Although your phone obviously won’t last forever, Huawei will not “brick” your device. You can continue using it for as long as it’s physically capable.

Q: Will my phone continue to receive Android upgrades and security patches?

A: This is a tricky question. If you own a Google-less Huawei device, you’ll continue to see Android upgrades and security patches as usual. In fact, Huawei has a roadmap for the rollout of EMUI 11 (based on Android 10). However, if you own a Huawei phone with Google services onboard, the Huawei ban prevents the company from issuing Google-sanctioned updates going forward. Huawei has iterated its commitment to delivering patches and upgrades moving forward in spite of this, but there are no long-term guarantees.

Q: Can I transfer my apps and data from a Huawei phone to another brand?

A: Yes. Many companies offer apps and services that do this for you, including Samsung and OnePlus, for example. Keep in mind that some forms of data and some apps won’t be available across different devices, but almost all of your data will transfer successfully.

Q: I don’t want to use my Huawei phone anymore and I don’t want to sell it. What should I do?

A: Please recycle your smartphone using the proper methods. This is a great resource for ethically disposing of your used electronics.

Should you avoid buying Huawei phones or other products?

Huawei has already released multiple high-profile smartphones since the Huawei-US ban took effect. We fully expect there to be more phones on the way, too. As such, you might be tempted to buy a Huawei phone even though the ban will prevent it from being a “normal” experience.

Here are the answers to some questions you might have about buying a new Huawei device.

Q: Is it even legal to buy a new Huawei phone?

A: Yes, it is perfectly legal to buy new Huawei products of all kinds. The Huawei ban only prevents Huawei from working with US-based companies. This might affect the hows and wheres of buying a Huawei phone, but it has no effect on your purchase or ownership of the device.

Q: Can I still receive texts, make phone calls, take photos, and browse the web on new Huawei phones?

A: Yes, you can do all those things and more. The only difference will be the apps you use to perform those functions will probably be different than the ones you currently use. For example, Google Chrome will not be available on new Huawei phones, so you’ll need to use a different app for browsing the web. Huawei’s app store (called App Gallery) will have many of the apps you need.

Q: Why can’t I just sideload Google apps?

A: You can sideload Android apps onto Huawei phones and a lot of them will work correctly. However, many prominent apps use something called Google Play Services to function. This Google product won’t be on new Huawei phones. There are several methods that have been used to successfully sideload Google Play Services on Huawei phones, but these are extremely unofficial, could potentially damage your phone, have no guarantee of working long-term, and potentially leave your device open to security risks. We do not recommend using this as a viable solution.

Q: Does Huawei’s App Gallery have (insert your favorite app here)?

A: Huawei is spending millions of dollars on convincing app developers to port their products to App Gallery. As such, there are a lot of Android apps already available through App Gallery and more are added every day. You can install App Gallery on your current Android phone and search for the apps you depend on the most, which should help you decide if it can fully replace the Play Store.

Q: Will my Bluetooth headphones, gaming controller, or other accessories work with a Huawei phone?

A: Yes, in almost all cases. Huawei devices still run on Android and Bluetooth is a cross-platform service, so everything should function as you would expect. Obviously, there’s no way to say every single device will work perfectly, but most everything should work.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2021, 07:16:07 PM by javajolt »