Google, the makers of Android, suspended business with phone maker Huawei last night. Reports emerged online stating that Google will no longer work with Huawei, banning it from using its own version of Android, and the benefits that come with — including the Google Play Store. Huawei will be limited to using the open-source Android, and won’t have access to the Google Play Store as a result.
And that’s a major concern for Huawei, of course. The company’s business depends on Android and after its conflicts with the United States government, things have not been going too well for the phone maker. The latest development is just another punch in the gut.
Huawei is now responding to Google’s ban, reassuring customers on its plans. In a statement sent to the press, Huawei confirmed that the company will continue to provide security updates and customer service for all existing Huawei and Honor devices. Here’s the company’s 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. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.
And that’s what Google said, too:
For Huawei users' questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov't requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.
— Android (@Android) May 20, 2019
But the future of Huawei remains uncertain. It’s not clear whether the company is going to ship its future devices with the open-source version of Android and without Google Play, or whether it will switch to its own solutions (if there’s one). As TechCrunch notes, the company is literally launching the new Honor 20 phone tomorrow in London, so the timing here isn’t really great.
Other U.S. companies like Intel and Qualcomm have also stopped supplying chips to Huawei for the time being.
It seems like both Huawei and Google aren’t exactly certain about what’s going to happen going forward. The plan forward is a big uncertainty for both the companies and Huawei being one of the biggest phone makers in the world, that’s a huge problem for the entire market.