What awaits Huawei after US sanctions, a ban on the use of Android and Google services.
We live in a very dynamic world in which yesterday's leaders can suddenly become outsiders, after which daring newcomers will take their place. Which after a while also risk losing all their achievements. And the mobile phone market is an excellent confirmation of this.
For the first time, our consumers heard about Huawei phones back in the days when Nokia was the absolute leader in the market. The positions of the Finnish company seemed so strong that it was impossible to believe in the possibility of their loss. And even more so, no one would have believed that Asian companies would become the main competitors in this market.
The first Huawei phones and smartphones looked suspiciously like solutions from much more well-known companies. Their quality left much to be desired, the functionality was also not impressive. But as time went on, the engineers and designers of the company began to put more and more effort into creating truly unique devices. Moreover, over time, the company itself began to set the pace of development. An example is foldable smartphone Huawei Mate X, introduced a little later than the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Chinese developers have clearly managed to surpass the Korean ones. At least in terms of design. True, the sale of Mate X has not yet appeared.
Today, Huawei smartphones can be found everywhere. People who used to laugh at the name of the company because of its specific sound for the Russian ear, today they are willing to purchase its products. The range of manufactured models is very large - from very simple solutions, affordable and not too far gone in terms of capabilities from “dialers”, to advanced expensive devices manufactured under the Honor brand and challenging galaxy and iPhone. The company strives to cover all categories of users, to satisfy the most specific requests.
And if initially the company simply used components from third-party manufacturers, now it has begun to strive for independence. For example, in 2004, HiSilicon Technologies was founded, which today develops and manufactures Kirin mobile processors. Now the company is aiming for "software independence".
Development of own OS
Talk that Huawei is developing its own OS appeared on the Web for a long time. According to some reports, the company has been working in this direction since 2012. Now, all the prerequisites have arisen for the fact that the Chinese company will be forced to speed up the creation of its own operating system. The reason for this is a new round of tension between China and the United States. The conflict has been brewing for a long time and now it became known that the US Department of Commerce has included Huawei in the number of companies that are prohibited from buying products from American manufacturers. And this means that the company's smartphones will not be able to use androidand laptops are Windows.
Why Huawei? Yes, it's just that this company deals not only with smartphones. Its main area of activity is all kinds of telecommunications equipment, and this is a direct challenge to national interests. Scandals related to the security of Huawei network equipment have repeatedly erupted. And although the company regularly closed all the holes, it could not get rid of the slander that all these problems were created artificially, in favor of the Chinese government. Huawei has good ties to the Chinese military and the CIA claims that the manufacturer has repeatedly received money from the army for unknown purposes. So, it is likely that all suspicions of espionage are by no means far-fetched.
There is another conspiracy theory, according to which the blocking was undertaken in order to give odds to American manufacturers of telecommunications equipment. The fact is that Huawei has unique technologies related to 5G networks. Rumor has it that in this way the US government seeks to support its companies, even if at the cost of delaying the widespread introduction of next-generation networks.
It is possible that everything will still work out, the politicians will make some noise and calm down, all the bans will be lifted (they have already been postponed for 90 days). But all this is the first wake-up call for the manufacturer, which is exclusively dependent on US companies. Sooner or later, new and even more acute problems may emerge. So creating your own OS and your own services now looks like the most logical step for the company. You can produce great hardware, but without good software, it's pointless.
Representatives of Huawei are generally optimistic. They admit that they would prefer to continue working with Google's creation, but they are confident in their strength and ability to create an alternative to Android, which has already been called HongMeng OS. In fact, creating your own OS, and even based on Linux, today does not look like too much of a challenge. Most likely, this is the path Huawei will take, instead of developing the system from scratch. The problem is to provide users with high-quality and diverse services. After all, the same Android is interesting precisely in conjunction with Google services, such as Play, Maps, YouTube, etc. But to implement this quickly and at the same time with high quality, the Chinese definitely will not succeed, this is not an easy task.
What's next for Huawei
The ban will not affect already used Huawei smartphones, which means that if you have already made a purchase, then you can not worry. It is already known that the Chinese manufacturer is looking for workarounds in order to provide its consumers with access to Google services in the future. Discussions are underway with third-party app stores to help mitigate the loss of Google Play.
It is not yet possible to predict anything definite about the future of the company. Today, Huawei is one of the leading smartphone developers, competing on equal terms with manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple. Moreover, when we talk about competition, we mean not only the number of devices sold, but also their capabilities. Huawei has repeatedly attracted the attention of users in many countries with very interesting smartphone models. The company creates both expensive solutions with many features, and much more affordable models with very attractive technical characteristics and a high level of quality.
It was the latter that allowed the company to break into leadership positions. It is believed that in Russia, Huawei was able to oust Samsung and take first place thanks to such devices. While the Korean manufacturer threw all its efforts into the fight against Apple, focusing on expensive premium devices, the Chinese have focused on “people's” smartphones.
However, Huawei does not forget about top solutions. So, on May 21 in London, the company presented the flagship model Honor 20 with an extended photographic component. During the presentation, a lot was said about the technical capabilities of the device, its design and materials. But the topic of the ban was avoided in every possible way, which only contributed to the emergence of various negative predictions. A lot of advice appeared on the Web to postpone the purchase of new devices from the company. And maybe they are worth listening to. By the way, mobile operators in Japan and the UK have already announced their intention to stop buying Huawei smartphones until the situation normalizes.
Huawei is now facing a difficult task - we urgently need to think about how to replace American-made chips (this is relatively easy) and American software (but this is already not easy). The leadership position of the company and its position in the smartphone market will depend on how quickly and competently this task is solved. In any case, it should be expected that the pace of its development will slow down.