A nasty month has simply gotten a complete lot worse for Huawei. According to a Reuters report and confirmed by the 2 firms, Google is getting ready to chop off the China-based smartphone maker’s Android license, stopping future Huawei telephones (such because the upcoming Mate 30) from utilizing the Play Store and Google’s common apps and providers.
The bombshell comes simply days after President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order barring U.S. firms from utilizing telecommunications tools made by companies that “pose a national security risk.” While the order didn’t single out Huawei, the Commerce Department concurrently added Huawei to its Entity List, successfully banning the smartphone maker from shopping for elements and parts from U.S. firms with out specific authorities approval. Together, the 2 strikes make it extraordinarily tough for any U.S. firm to do enterprise with Huawei.
Hence Google’s fast resolution. The firm stated in a press release that it’s merely “complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” however the stakes couldn’t be increased. When the mud clears, it won’t be simply Huawei that’s endlessly modified: Google, Android, and your complete smartphone panorama may very well be indelibly altered as properly.
Many choices, few solutions
If Google pulls Huawei’s Android license, that can clearly have a huge effect on each present and future Huawei handsets. While the contract doesn’t have an effect on the core OS, which is roofed by the Android Open Source Project and free for anybody to make use of, Google expenses to be used of the Play Store and its utility suite (Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and so forth.) for telephones shipped to Europe.
Because principally all smartphone makers peddle their wares in Europe, the lack of that license is a major problem. Huawei principally has three choices going ahead:
- Keep the present EMUI framework, however remove all traces of Google in lieu of its personal apps and retailer.
- Partner with a third-party app retailer resembling Aptoide.
- Build a totally new OS that isn’t based mostly on Android.
None of those selections is straightforward. As the second-largest telephone maker on this planet (after Samsung), Huawei makes dozens of various telephones. A change of this magnitude would require a dramatic rethinking of nearly each step of the method: design, engineering, advertising, value, and extra.
If any of those choices works, nevertheless, Huawei’s sheer measurement may create the primary true competitor to iOS and Android, and put a critical dent in Google’s dominance.
EMUI as a service
To go away its EMUI OS intact and extract Google’s apps, providers, and the Play Store, Huawei would both must develop its personal app retailer or associate with an current firm. Of course, any try to copy the present Android-Google expertise with out linchpins like Maps and YouTube would nearly definitely lead to an expertise inferior to what’s supplied now, with a a lot smaller catalog of apps. Our telephones could possibly do loads out of the field, however each Android and iOS depend on third-party builders to enhance machine capabilities. Huawei can be at a critical drawback beginning basically from scratch.
The most definitely situation is that Huawei will go it alone. We’ve already seen the energy of its engineering with the Watch GT, which makes use of the homegrown Lite OS slightly than Wear OS. It’s fairly good, even with out third-party apps.
Of course, any Huawei telephone would want main apps to succeed. If Lite OS is any indication, nevertheless, Huawei may construct another working system built-in with its personal providers that doesn’t really feel like an inexpensive imitation. China-based WeChat already gives a platform-within-a-platform that brings messaging, video calls, video games funds, and maps in a single launcher-style app. Huawei may make one thing related for its telephones, forgoing the normal app-based atmosphere for one thing completely new.
If Huawei have been as small as Oppo and even Xiaomi, one other Android fork wouldn’t be almost as large of a deal. As Amazon has demonstrated with the Kindle Fire tablets, constructing an Android fork devoid of Google, and even carving out a distinct segment with its personal app retailer, is completely doable. An analogous transfer by an organization as large as Huawei, nevertheless, may shake the smartphone world to its core.
Slaying the large
Huawei already has tens of millions of devoted followers all around the world. If they all of the sudden understand that Google isn’t important and even central to the Android expertise on their telephones, it may start to chip away on the firm’s dominance within the cellular area. Yes, Google controls all of the playing cards, however Huawei is already a pacesetter in China, the place it makes its personal chips and modems, and provides loads of tweaks and options on high of Android.
Let’s not overlook what’s ready within the wings: Huawei’s first folding telephone, the Mate X. Huawei was presumably working with Google to iron out the kinks within the distinctive UI forward of its upcoming launch, however now Huawei may use the hotly anticipated telephone to showcase its hardware and software program improvements. After the Galaxy Fold suffered a setback, there’s no purpose to hurry.
If smartphone large Huawei is ready to divorce itself from Google and Android with out fading into irrelevancy, it might change every little thing in regards to the smartphone panorama. Android would now not management 80 % of the cellular market share. Samsung may comply with swimsuit with Tizen OS. Google would all of the sudden have greater than Apple to fret about.
With a built-in fanbase and super progress, Huawei is uniquely suited to outlive with out Google. Whether the following step is a Google-less Android fork or a solo EMUI enterprise, way more than Huawei’s future is in play.