The pressure is growing and so is the deadline as the temporary general license given to Huawei that allowed the Chinese smartphone manufacturer to conduct limited business with US firms expired on August 13.
The license was awarded the hope of giving US telecom companies time to figure out alternatives to the Huawei infrastructure they were using at the time, and also allow Google to maintain its apps and services, including updates on Huawei’s phones but now the time has run out.
Huawei was put on the US Entity List in May 2019, after security concerns arose about the smartphone maker leaking information back to China which labelled it a national security threat leading to a long heated battle on whether the reports were true or not.
At the moment, users having Huawei phones with Google Mobile Services (GMS) are under threat as Android updates from Google will soon no longer be an option. Not all devices will get affected but phones from last year’s P30 flagship could stop getting Android OS updates going forward.
Google apps on older devices are likely to be affected too as they won’t receive any updates as long as the temporary license remains suspended. However, phones released after the May 2019 trade ban won’t be affected since they use an open-source version of Android and receive updates directly from Huawei, not Google.
What’s next for the Huawei phone owners?
Even though many of Huawei’s older devices won’t be getting any updates from Google as long as the license remains suspended, the company has already made moves by creating it’s on Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) as an alternative to GMS.
Reports about HMS came in as early as February, with the smartphone maker working around the clock to deliver an alternative solution before the US kicked it out from its market. HMS was made public during the launch of the Honor View 30 and Mate 30 Pro series flagships back in than Barcelona, with the suite having App Gallery, themes, mobile cloud services and much more.
A Huawei spokesperson told The Washington Post that the company is “monitoring the situation and assessing the potential impact.” Google hasn’t yet offered a statement on what is to happen to the Android updates since the license was only temporary.
For now, Huawei smartphone owners who have access to Google services are to remain in the dark till further notice as they await the final decision on what comes next. The situation only continues to get harder for the Chinese company whose access to global chipmakers was cut off recently by the US.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.