Huawei must have learnt a very important lesson in life which is that you should never take anything for granted in life. There was a time when Huawei was on target to become the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world surpassing Apple. Although the company did as well for some point of time, Apple clawed back its top spot once again. However, that is not the point we are trying to make. The point here is that Huawei should not forget what made their phones sell well. We believe that the inclusion of Google services on Huawei phones helped a lot for the company. At the moment, the US sanctions have meant that Huawei cannot use Google services.
That does not mean, however, that Huawei phones can’t run Android but we know that Android is extremely barebones without Google services. At first, while the ban on Huawei was announced, they claimed that this should not affect them much. At that time, I felt that Huawei was on the borderline of being arrogant and confident in their products. But now, Huawei’s executives have admitted to Financial Times in an interview that they are struggling to replace Google apps on their phones.
In fact, HarmonyOS which is touted as the next big operating system which will replace Android is said to be delayed and that they are quite a few years away from replacing Android from their phones.
Joy Tan, Vice President of public affairs at Huawei US, said that “After the entity list, we were able to figure out some of the alternative solutions. The most challenging part is the Google-managed services. We can continue to use the Android platform since it is open-source, but we cannot use the services that help apps run on it”. He also mentioned that the company is still trying, as well as relying on its US customers to lobby the Trump administration, to let them supply to Huawei.