Should you buy a Huawei smartphone now?
- Author: Arturo Norris May 22, 2019,
May 22, 2019, 15:26
Last Wednesday, the Trump administration added Huawei to its "entity list", which bans the company from acquiring technology from United States firms without government approval.
On Monday, the U.S. Commerce Department granted 90 days of relief for certain U.S. broadband companies using Huawei equipment.
ZTE nearly collapsed after the U.S. Commerce Department banned it for three months in 2018 from buying American technology.
The Huawei confrontation has been building for years, as the world's largest company has raced to a huge advantage over rivals in next-generation 5G mobile technology.
But still in place are requirements that government licenses be obtained for any sales to Huawei unrelated to existing equipment. The core operating system is open source so it will continue to work but certain features and some apps like Google Maps, Gmail, and YouTube might no longer be available.
A report on May 20 on the potential impact of stringent export controls on technologies found that US firms could lose up to $56.3 billion in export sales over five years.
However, a report in The Information paints a very different picture about the status of Huawei's efforts to build its own OS. This was by design: The United States is now involved in a quickly escalating trade war with China, and the presidential administration believes that this kind of threat will get China to bow to its demands.
As the supplier of Windows to Huawei laptop devices, Microsoft has remained quiet on the future of its relationship with the company and whether it will prevent it from purchasing the licenses. Industry analysts say it might struggle to compete if it can not line up replacements for Google services that run afoul of the US curbs. But the company would be barred from transferring hardware or software directly to Huawei.
While the trade conflict between the United States and China looms large, there's a lot at stake for some huge tech companies, and we can't help but feel the Huawei issue discovered before the end of the 90 days.
"No matter what happens, no matter what kind of challenges. just smile and overcome them", he told the audience, a mantra that could apply equally to Huawei as to its young customers.
For those concerned that their current Huawei phones are set to become useless bricks, there's nothing to be anxious about. At the same time, shipments from both Samsung and third-ranked Apple have fallen.