Huawei is now the second largest smartphone vendor in the world after Samsung. Huawei’s phones are preferred in Asia, Europe and Americas, as they offer the best features at an affordable price. Nevertheless, the quickly escalating trade tensions between the US and China have cast a shadow on the future business prospects of this company. Huawei might lose access to the most popular operating system in the world Android and its app ecosystem. Huawei’s survival in the global market might be threatened if the American government imposes a complete ban on the phone sales. Is it still reasonable to buy Huawei devices in 2019? You obviously need to read this article before purchasing your next smartphone.
No Access to Key Services by US Companies
The US government have placed serious restrictions on the business cooperation between American technology companies and Huawei. Acting very quickly, the leading technology companies such as Google have withdrawn their services from Huawei phones.
Another American software company Evernote whose note-taking app is popular with smartphone users all over the world might also restrict the availability of their app on Huawei phones. According to the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), consumers will accept and use a technology based on its perceived usefulness. Such individual customer characteristics as gender, age, occupation, education, and even design preferences will determine the overall success or failure of new technologies. For example, tech-savvy customers will be attracted by advanced app functionality, while others will prioritise smartphones with advanced camera performance and quality. In any case, the restricted access to many popular apps including Google Maps and Evernote can seriously undermine the attractiveness of Huawei’s gadgets especially taking into account that competitors (e.g. Samsung) are Google-friendly.
Use of Alternative Operating Systems
In August 2019, Huawei announced that it would launch its own operating system called HarmonyOS. While announcing its future operating system, Huawei put it very clearly that it would prefer continue using Android on its new phones, but can shift to HarmonyOS in just a few days. Other operating systems (e.g. Tizen OS by the Linux Foundation) were not viewed as acceptable for Huawei due to the limited number of apps available to them.
In the recent past, the advent of new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) forced tech companies to develop and use their own operating systems. For example, LG continues using its own LG WebOS on other than smartphones electronic devices, including TV-sets, smart refrigerators, and projectors. Nevertheless, even LG relies on Googles’ applications (e.g. Google Assistant) to improve the functionality of its proprietary operating systems. Even if Huawei can produce its own operating system and spread it among its loyal users, it will still lack popular apps developed by featured American technology firms. The utility of Huawei’s future smartphones will to a substantial degree depend on the operating system they are going to use.
Growing Trade Tensions between the US and China
The existing trade tensions between the US and China show no signs of relieving in the near future. Both sides are imposing higher and higher tariffs on their imports. According to many trade analysts, the US are using Huawei as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with China. Recently, the US have called China a ‘currency manipulator’ after their currency devaluation. It is forecasted that the relations between the two countries might worsen in the future.
If the trade negotiations between the US and China fail to become productive, the American government might impose a complete ban on the sales of Huawei’s smartphones in its domestic market. This scenario is probable and very undesirable for Huawei, as the company will lose a significant part of its customer base and its survival will be threatened.
Purchasing a smartphone produced by a company, which does not have access to the leading software products and whose survival might be threatened in the future, is risky for any user. If you are considering to buy a Huawei device, it would be wise to wait until the trade tensions between the US and China decrease. You can check other affordable alternatives manufactured by Asian companies such as LG and Sony, but still avoid Chinese brands (Xiaomi, Honor, Meizu, etc.) as they can repeat Huawei’s story.
| About the Guest Author:
Ellie Richards is an online Marketing Manager for SEO Outreach agency Outreach Lab. She specialises in research, content and article writing on various topics, including Education, Marketing, and Technology.