Call it the work Chinese brainstorming or an overly-practical research and development team at Huawei, these guys have taken every possible outcome of this US-China trade deficit long before the effects of it began to show. In recent developments in the biggest economic war between the two most powerful nations in the world, Huawei suffered an almost fatal blow as America backlisted the company internationally and banned it from doing any business with American tech firms. Among these firms was Google, who stopped Huawei phone’s android-support, decided to block Android upgrades on Huawei mobiles, and took away Huawei users’ access to Google’s licensed applications.
Now, Huawei has a full-powered “Plan B” ready to counter its post-ban issues with the hardware component suppliers. But people are still uncertain of Huawei’s fate as it lacks an appropriate operating system with complete software support, updates, and app store.
What plan Huawei has in place to take on this abrupt cut off from Google?
Android and Google Play Store
Google owns Android and Play Store, the two things on which any Android-powered smartphone works on. While Android is the entire operating system on which the mobile applications run, Play Store is the app-house that allows users to download a range of third-party applications. These applications are approved and verified by Google itself. Google also owns the license to a large set of apps such as Gmail, Maps, Keep, YouTube, etc. which are also downloadable from the Play Store. Not to mention the user base of these Play Store apps is tremendous, which basically gives Google unprecedented control over consumers’ mobile phone usage.
Now imagine a mobile phone with no Android and no Play Store. That means the user would have no OS to run the phone on and no source to Google-licensed or any third-party application. And Huawei is going to be in those shoes as Google pulls off its resources from Huawei’s Android phones.
So, what Huawei’s is going to do about it.
Huawei’s Own OS for Mobile Phones
Huawei announced that it would start making its own OS back in 2012. And now, it seems like Huawei has to be readier than ever to transit into an in-house, self-controlled operating system. Currently, names HongMeng OS, Huawei’s apparent competition against Android actually had placed traces of its work in some Huawei phones already. It is suggested that Huawei’s personalized app store called App Gallery that is pre-installed in Honor devices, is a trial version of a potential alternative to Play Store. HongMeng is reportedly under active testing phase and can be rolled out for beta usage if Google continues to uphold its ban on offering Android services to Huawei.
But, the road to this heavy transition is not going to be easy.
Huawei to Face Google-oriented Public with HongMeng
Even if HongMeng is ready on time, Huawei would be in possible trouble. Why? Because like every other Android vendor, Huawei has a large consumer base which is highly dependent on Google’s licensed applications such as Gmail and YouTube. To make sure that the new App Gallery has potential replacements for these Google apps, Huawei needs to get developers to fill the App Gallery with all sorts of applications just like Play Store. But, getting developers on board is another headache for Huawei. You can’t entice developers to give in their knowledge and efforts in an app store without considering all potential outcomes in regard to consumer response and success of that particular app.
But, under high scrutiny from the US government and a big reason for losing business with Google forever, don’t you think that Huawei needs a strong backup?
Is Building an OS Enough Alone?
In a recent update, it has been seen that Microsoft has removed Huawei’s laptops and other accessory products from Microsoft Store. You literally can’t buy any Huawei product from Microsoft Store for now. Microsoft has not given any formal statement over the Trump blacklisting of Huawei and has not officially responded with any step. But this unannounced measure poses a major risk to Huawei’s business with Microsoft as well.
Does this secretive step taken by Microsoft against Huawei indicate a potential Windows ban?
If it is true, Huawei’s OS backup is not going to cut it. Unfortunately, the App Gallery would only be a success, if Huawei loses business with Google only; however, as the US is tightening its grip, it is highly possible that other US-based tech firms also cut off ties with Huawei. And if that happens, even the App Gallery won’t be of any use. Because that would mean companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and almost every other major collaborator to US technological economy would part ways with Huawei, just like Microsoft is hinting at. And convincing users to buy Huawei phones or other gadgets without the most widely used platforms is unlikely to be a successful move.
Huawei is trying its best to maintain its stronghold despite heavy blows from Trump administration. However, competition from rivals is inevitable in such a mess, and Samsung has taken huge advantage of it. News about the stock market being stumbled amidst this trade deficit is all over the web. But somehow, Samsung, without becoming public, is taking a stance for itself. Can Samsung take on Huawei, given that the company is at its most vulnerable?