Huawei has grown from a network equipment manufacturer into one of the world’s biggest and most recognised consumer electronics brands in a matter of years. Its smartphone handsets have begun to outsell Apple’s worldwide, but there is uncertainty around Huawei’s future due to the US’ trade war with China.
Huawei's future outside China was looking a little shaky following Google's decision to comply with President Trump's ruling over the company, which saw it added to the US trade blocklist. Google even vowed to no longer support Huawei (or sub-brand Honor) phones and tablets, meaning future devices would not be able to run Google apps and services.
Following Google's announcement, chip makers such as Intel and Qualcomm were committed to stop supplying parts to Huawei until further notice, also sparking fears for its laptop business.
The US ban was temporarily lifted - but only until 19 August. Then on 29 June, Trump appeared to reverse the decision, and now it looks like things could return to normal. We are currently waiting for an official Huawei statement to confirm this.
Here's how it might affect you after this date.
What this means for existing Huawei and Honor devices
If you've already bought a Huawei or Honor phone, tablet or other device there really is no cause for concern because nothing is about to change: Google is committed to providing continued support for these devices.
It said: "For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices."
What is not clear is whether this will extend to new features, such as those provided by upcoming Android Q. But since the ban has been reversed, it may prove that there is nothing to worry about.
Huawei made an official statement on the news of the original ban: "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 that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.
"We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally."
This was the company's promise to customers before the 29 June reversal.
What this means for future Huawei and Honor devices
While the above applied to every Huawei or Honor device that is on sale right now, it was less clear what would happen with upcoming devices.
The timing was poor for Honor, as it coincided with the launch of its Honor 20 series of phones, but it assures us that these phones are unaffected since they had already passed certification. We presume the same is true for the recently announced Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and foldable Mate X.
If the ban is indeed lifted, then things are looking better for the Huawei Mate 30, not slated for release until October. With the ban in place, there was speculation that the phone might bot even be able to run Android full stop. For now at least, it seems Huawei can concentrate on steadying the ship after a whirlwind step into the global news spotlight.
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