What awaits Huawei smartphones after the US ban

Today everyone is talking about  US sanctions on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.  with all included units, including subsidiaries.

Nevertheless, the panic seems to me premature and unfounded.

Huawei has the necessary leverage to eventually get out of this story with minimal losses in the overall standings.

Let us try to approach the situation with restraint and objectivity, answering several hot, obvious questions.

What will happen to Huawei after US sanctions?

Nothing that cannot be fixed or endured.

Purchased smartphones will continue to work, Google services will not be disabled , but will stop receiving updates. This rule applies to all smartphones already released by the company’s factories.

This, according to approximate estimates, is enough for 2-4 months of retail and online stores without taking into account the decrease in demand from customers. In the case of the export of parties from NATO countries – even more.

The rule also applies to all announced gadgets : they are already in production, which means that the necessary licenses have been received and cannot be revoked.

Otherwise, compromising the ecosystem will force all developers (mainly from China) to look for third-party ways, and they have long existed and managed to become massive.

What awaits Honor smartphones after US sanctions?

Honor is waiting for exactly the same fate as Huawei: at first it will be hard, and then normal.

However, the general problems of the corporation will affect all divisions . That is, Honor also after a generation (the current P30 innovations and modifications will not have problems) will drop out of the Google ecosystem.

As with Huawei, the corporation has about half a year to prepare its own response. Given the existing developments, this is not the most difficult thing for a holding company that holds at least 50% of the telecommunications market in the world.

What will happen to Android on Huawei and Honor smartphones?

In the event of an extension of the current situation, new generations of Huawei devices will be delivered without Google services, but with the same proprietary EMUI shell based on Android 8/9, or on a proprietary operating system that is nothing more than a new add-on for Android AOSP.

IMPORTANT: on the lion’s share of devices under Android-systems there is no Google Play and other American software. And this is VERY COOL! In a separate article, we will talk about the life of Android without Google, surveillance and related privileges.

Trump can not prohibit the open source distribution of Android, because otherwise Google’s development will be killed by penalties.

That is, the sanctions do not apply to “clean” Android AOSP, which means that Huawei will live without Google services and direct support from the corporation. About the same as other smartphone developers for China’s domestic market. There is neither GMail nor Google Play – hell, not even Skype!

And life on Android outside the Google ecosystem is very vast: Oppo / Vivo / OnePlus, Xiaomi, and independent (including open source) developers are on the alert.

For reference: Huawei is the second smartphone manufacturer in the world. Who will be the problem of the lack of Google software on its devices?

Is it true that Huawei will not be able to produce modern smartphones?

Yes and no.

Sanctions have already been supported by American manufacturers of iron . But this does not mean complete collapse.

All Huawei smartphones use their own Kirin processor platform based on purchased ARM architecture licenses. Part of the solutions used in the production is open source.

The terms of licensing and contracting significantly exceed any reasonable terms of the current crisis and are not retroactive. In addition, Huawei owns these developments in full, so it can release devices with them without any licenses.

HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd, Huawei’s semiconductor solutions division, is manufacturing the Kirin platform. Raw materials for them are mined by Chinese companies around the world. That is, this side remains independent of Trump’s sanctions.

The bulk of the elements necessary for the smartphone to work (modems, smart charging chips, AI and camera function blocks, amplifiers and DACs) in Huawei smartphones is also integrated into their own chipset.

The partnership did not stop AMS and Micron , who managed to find a loophole. The problem is Qualcomm’s refusal of supplies – they are the ones who create 5G modems for fresh Huawei, as well as a number of simpler solutions (but there is an alternative to the latter ).

Therefore, the issues of component deliveries will hit the corporation ’s telecommunications business most of all : without Broadcomm and Xilinx chips, infrastructure solutions for creating networks cannot exist. Accumulated balances will end quickly.

Probably, Huawei, in the case of tightening the sanctions, will have to strengthen its own departments for the development of hardware solutions for smartphones. Until the creation of new ARM solutions. Although, if Apple was able to create its own chip architecture, why Huawei can not do it?

For us, ordinary users, this is only at hand: more platforms and development branches will finally lead to normal competition in the gadget market and the emergence of truly breakthrough technologies.

What to do owners of smartphones Huawei and Honor in Russia?

Using smartphones for your own pleasure, remembering the upcoming changes.

When the devices stop receiving updates (gods, how scary it is – last year A-brands released updates once a year or two ), you can go to the  XDA and  download the update .

For this, Huawei will have to unlock the bootloader and give the driver source code , but such a solution is unlikely to have to wait long.

And all this is relevant only if  a) the parties do not agree among themselves (the US war with ZTE took 3 months ),  b) Huawei will not resolve the issue on its own. She has everything she needs to do this.

The same goes for Android security updates, which, suddenly, can be installed without Google’s permission with full access to the operating system. So the output will appear rather quickly and will not affect ordinary users, especially in the CIS.

Can I buy new smartphones Huawei and Honor?

Rather yes than no. At the moment, many of them have been updated to the current version of Android and have all the necessary patches.

The next Google OS will be ported at about the same time as other Chinese flagships (Oppo / OnePus Chinese flagship update delays occur for a similar reason), as Google will be forced to make the source code publicly available under an open license.

Some inconveniences will accompany geeks for the next 2-3 months at the start of sales of the new model, but ordinary users will not notice this.

Last thing. How long will the trade war between Huawei and the US last?

It will go as long as the Chinese government allows. As soon as Huawei’s losses cross the line, a solution satisfying everyone will be found.

This is exactly what happened with ZTE: in fact, Trump knocked out a lot of money from them for no reason.

So either Trump with the trade war will leave, or Huawei will be transformed into some HuHonorWei, to which sanctions will not apply.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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