Daily Management Review

Will disconnection from Android kill Huawei?


The Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is doomed to failure without the Android operating system, the use of which has been banned by Google, analysts say. The vendor has already begun developing its own operating system, but its chances of conquering the European market are very slim.

Huawei, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of smartphones, has been developing its own mobile operating system in case its relationship with Google worsens. Now that the day has arrived, and Google has broken the contract allowing the use of Android OS updates. Huawei will obviously have to use a backup plan to continue its gadget business.

Not much is known about Huawei's own operating system. Chinese English-language edition of the Global Times says that the OS will be called HongMeng. At the same time, it has been in development for already seven years, since 2012.

Wang Chenglu, Head of software development for consumer business in Huawei, mentioned in an interview in September 2018 that developing an operating system is simple. It is much harder to create an ecosystem with application support, which is often a stumbling block even for large companies.

This happened to Microsoft, which tried to introduce Windows Phone, but in the end admitted its project was a failure. Samsung also refused its own OS Tizen, called “a faint copy of Android without any applications”. Symbian and BlackBerry OS followed their steps.

There is a strong likelihood that HongMeng will face the same fate. Operating systems without applications have no chance in a fight with the Android-iOS duopoly.

HongMeng may well be an adequate alternative to Android for Chinese users who are already accustomed to Google services banned in the country. However, such an operating system is clearly not suitable for the European market. The lack of Google support can severely harm Huawei's business in Europe, which will ultimately affect the company's financial performance, because the EU market is the second largest for the Chinese vendor.

It is reported that Huawei will still be able to use the basic version of Android, available as open source, on which the EMUI user interface will be superimposed. Thus, the break with Google will remain almost imperceptible for the simple user.

However, given the lack of technical support, security updates, and future versions of Android, which were previously provided by the corporation, Huawei will literally remain on the sidelines of innovation and technology, which will not allow it to remain competitive in the oversaturated smartphone market.

According to The Verge, reputation of Huawei, which is at the very epicenter of the US-Chinese trade war, will inevitably suffer, regardless of how quickly the contradictions will be resolved. Both private and corporate customers will certainly think twice before buying the smartphones, which may be left without updates in the future.

“It’s impossible to sell a smartphone without a Play Store or Google Maps outside of China,” says Techsponential analyst, “even if you put your own app store at the very top of the list, as they did in China when they lost access to the Android license".

The analyst added that even purchase of equipment and components from non-US manufacturers would not be as difficult for Huawei as finding a replacement for an app store.

In such a situation, when Huawei smartphones become unattractive to consumers, Samsung and Apple will increase their share in Europe, said Patrick Moorhead, President and Principal Analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy. In addition, other Chinese vendors, such as Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus, which the US prohibitions have not yet touched, can benefit from sanctions against Huawei. As the trade war continues to blaze, the high time that they have been waiting for may finally come.

However, the American media agrees that the world of technology will lose a lot if Huawei finally disappears from the distance and stops stimulating its closest competitors - this applies to both the 5G network and mobile gadgets. In addition, even taking into account the fact that espionage in favor of their own government is unacceptable, Huawei’s fault have not been proven, but the Chinese manufacturer is already paying the price.

source: theverge.com, globaltimes.cn