Android for Huawei: What we know so far – and what not

Android for Huawei: What we know so far – and what not

By order of the US president, Android makers Google, as well as chip producers such as Qualcomm, discontinue their cooperation with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei. For Huawei and sister company Honor this has dramatic consequences. Also their customers have to pay attention.

What happened?

Update, 04.07.2019 : US President Trump has announced a relaxation of Huawei sanctions at the G20 talks in Japan. Specifically, US chip manufacturers such as Intel and Qualcomm Huawei again supply. Huawei, however, remains on the black list of the US Department of Commerce and the handling of Huawei will be announced only at the end of the talks between the US and China finally.

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order, which gives the federal government of the United States of America the power to prohibit US companies from buying foreign-made communications equipment as a national security risk. Trade Minister Wilbur Ross decides which transactions represent such a potential risk.

Huawei is also a leading supplier of 5G network technology, but the two companies are best known as smart phone producers. In Germany, Huawei and Honor together achieve a market share of smartphones of 25 percent, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung writes. In the US, it is only 2.43 percent, as Statcounter has determined via Spiegel Online .

TURN-ON-Honor-view 20-5

Also Huawei's sister company Honor is affected by the Android spell (here the View 20).

To comply with the regulation, the US company Google Huawei has withdrawn the Android license, while chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm, Intel, Infineon, Broadcom and Xilix Huawei no longer supply their chips. Also Panasonic provides no more components for the Chinese, as CNBC writes.

The hardest hit is the move by UK-based ARM , which no longer trades in Huawei because of technology of US origin. Huawei's in-house Kirin chips are based on ARM designs. After all, Huawei was temporarily excluded as a member of the JEDEC, SD Association and Wi-Fi Alliance industry alliances, as writes. Meanwhile, however, Huawei has been re-affiliated to industry associations as a member of Cnet .

In addition, Alaa Elshimy , Managing Director and Vice President of Huawei's Enterprise Business Group Middle East, told Tech Radar that Huawei's Qualcomm and Intel chips could be replaced by proprietary ARM designs. How this is compatible with the end of the ARM cooperation remains unclear. The US government has granted Huawei a 90-day license to continue trading with its US partners so that Huawei can ensure its customers' update coverage, as writes. Huawei has also made the following official statement to :

Huawei Germany says:

"Huawei has made significant contributions to the development and growth of Android worldwide, and as one of Android's global key partners, we have worked closely with their open source platform to develop an ecosystem that benefits both users and industry ,

Huawei will continue to provide security updates and services for all existing Huawei and Honor smartphones and tablets. This affects sold and stocked devices worldwide.

We will continue to work on developing a secure and sustainable software ecosystem to deliver the best possible user experience worldwide. "

Can you continue to use your Huawei smartphone?


Huawei smartphones like the P30 can be used as usual.

Huawei and Honor devices sold and still waiting in the warehouse can be used as usual. You will retain access to Google apps such as Play Store, Google Maps and the Chrome browser. Also, security updates will continue to receive these phones – for how long is unclear.

Huawei confirmed this in a press release (see above) and Google told the Spiegel : "Users of our services can continue to use the Google Play Store and Google Play Protect security with their Huawei devices."

Are Huawei phones still getting updates?

Huawei P30 Pro

A new official Android version, Huawei phones such as the P30 Pro probably no longer receive.

The owners of Huawei and Honor smartphones are still getting security updates, but they should not expect an update to Android Q, the next big Android version. Since Huawei still has access to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the company could possibly tinker own Android updates – also based on Android Q, as soon as it lands in the AOSP. However, that would be risky, as XDA Developers writes, because Huawei would risk under the circumstances a violation of open source licenses against Google.

For unexplained reasons, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has been reinstated in the Android Q-Beta program, as writes with reference to Google. This suggests that current Huawei and Honor flagships could still get an update on at least Android Q. In fact, Huawei has requested the update for a whole range of smartphones at Google at least. It's quite possible that the following phones will get Android Q :

  • P30 Pro
  • P30
  • Mate 20
  • Mate 20 Pro
  • Porsche Design Mate 20 RS
  • P30 lite
  • P smart 2019
  • P smart + 2019
  • P smart Z
  • Mate 20 X
  • Mate 20X (5G)
  • P20 Pro
  • P20
  • Mate 10 Pro
  • Porsche Design Mate 10
  • Mate 10
  • Mate 20 Lite

In the long run, Huawei is likely to launch its smartphones with a proprietary operating system . This has been developed by Huawei, according to the head of the company's Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu, for emergencies.

Can Huawei buyers return their mobile phone?

Huawei has not yet clearly expressed a right of return. However, there is likely to be no such thing as the functionality of the sold devices is retained and Huawei continues to provide security updates and services.

What does the Android spell mean for future Huawei phones?

Future mobile phones must Huawei no longer available with Google apps such as the Play Store deliver, which is crucial for Android smartphones. Facebook will not allow its social apps, including WhatsApp and Instagram, to be pre-installed on new Huawei smartphones, the company said. Huawei wants to use its own mobile operating system in the future, which the company wants to finish by the end of 2019 and which should appear internationally in 2020.

Allegedly, Huawei has been working on it for seven years . The system is expected to support all Android apps without any customization, but the Play Store Huawei will be withheld. In the meantime, first alleged screenshots of Huawei's "Ark OS" and "HongMeng OS" have surfaced. Latter name was Huawei in several countries as a register mark .

Meanwhile, Huawei is apparently writing to app developers, offering them to publish their Android apps in Huawei's App Store "AppGallery," not just the Play Store. The app store could be extended by the offer of Aptoide , in particular to 900.00 Apps. Meanwhile, the Android spell is of little importance to the Chinese market, where Google apps play little role.

Windows Phone 8.1

Huawei is working on its own mobile operating system – but others like Microsoft have failed.

In the West, Huawei will have a hard time without Android. Previous alternatives to iOS and Android like Windows Phone, Palm OS, MeeGo, Symbian, Tizen and BlackBerry OS have failed. On top of that, it will be difficult for the company to even build new smartphones without the US chip manufacturers who are no longer allowed to supply Huawei. In particular, without ARM technology, this Huawei should be virtually impossible according to the current state.

The Huawei Mate X with 5G modem can no longer be pre-ordered for the UK Vodafone UK, as Reuters writes. And even more dramatic: According to the French 01net (via ), which recently asked Honor, the recently introduced Honor 20 Pro did not receive Android certification. This means that the Honor 20 Pro may not come on the market with Android as the operating system. The normal Honor 20 without Pro addition has still received the certification.

Despite the US ban, Huawei announced the mid-range smartphone Nova 5 and the Tablet MediaPad M6 . Whether they come to Germany is not known yet. In addition, there are now a number of leaks to the high-end smartphone Huawei Mate 30 Pro . Whether this appears with Android or with Huawei's own operating system, can not say yet.

Huawei MediaPad Nova5-M6

Despite the ban, Huawei announced the mobile phone Nova 5 and the tablet MediaPad M6.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfrei commented on US sanctions in an interview with Bloomberg . He assured Huawei to develop their own chips and operating system. He'll ignore Trump if he calls. Zhengfrei finds the tweets of the US president "ridiculous because they contradict themselves." Should China now go against Apple, which manufactures its iPhones mostly in China, Zhenfrei would be the first to protest against it.

"Apple is my teacher, they are in front, why should I act as a student against my teacher? Never." Following the allegations that Huawei had grown up stealing the technology of US companies such as Cisco Systems, Motorola, and T-Mobile US, the Huawei founder said, "I've stolen tomorrow's American technologies, and the US still has these technologies not once. " He might not sell his own products to the US.

With an emotional video , Huawei thanks his supporters and announces, "With you, we will continue on this path!"

Does the Android ban also have advantages?

One advantage of the Android ban for customers: It is to be expected with a price drop for Huawei and Honor smartphones. Because the devices stored by vendors or vendors can still be used and they still receive security updates, the disadvantages to their buyers are not that great. In any case, if they can possibly do without future official Android updates.


Huawei smartphones such as the Mate 20 Pro should be significantly cheaper in the coming weeks.

Should you buy a Huawei smartphone now?

Although Huawei and Honor phones are now cheaper in some places, especially at second-hand dealers, is that reason enough to get one of them? This question has been dealt with by the Austrian consumer protection association VKI – and advises against it. An important reason is the impending renunciation of a new version of Android.

"From an unknown time (possibly in the fall of 2019) Huawei will then pre-install its own, on the freely available Android-based version of the operating system, but all Google services and the Play-Store access is missing," said VKI in in-house magazine . The restrictions for European users are thereby not insignificant. If the prospective customers but get a Huawei phone, they should be aware of the update situation. However, it is recommended to wait or decide on a device from another manufacturer.

Deutsche Telekom called on employees not to order Huawei service phones anymore and advertises them more reluctantly, Handelsblatt writes. Meanwhile, contract manufacturer Foxconn has significantly reduced the production of Huawei smartphones, according to the South China Morning Post via .


The Honor 20 should still appear with Android – but the update situation does not look good.

Are other Huawei devices affected as well?

In fact, other devices from Huawei are also affected by the trade restrictions. So Huawei notebooks are no longer offered in the US online stores of Microsoft and the big retail chain Best Buy, as reported by the mirror . Huawei's in-house operating system Ark OS should also be used on PCs in 2020.

Will Huawei stay on the blacklist?

Due to US sanctions, Huawei expects smartphone sales to have dropped by 40 to 60 million units in 2019, Bloomberg writes in reference to anonymous insider sources. The sales figures of the Honor 20, which is available since 21 June, Huawei therefore observed exactly and should it sell too bad, it would take Huawei's sister company Honor apparently back from the market.

It is conceivable that the US government may agree with China and Huawei, and that Huawei technology will no longer be seen as a potential threat to national security. Walter Haas, Chief Technology Officer of Huawei Technologies Germany, believes that the boycott of the US government will not last forever . The topic should "sooner or later solve," said Haas loud end of June at a conference in Berlin.

Honor Launch 01

Huawei is reportedly watching the sales of the Honor 20 and if necessary taking the phone back from the market.

However, the action against Huawei is not to be understood exclusively in connection with the so-called trade war between the USA and China. The US intelligence agency has been fearing for many years that the Chinese government could call Huawei to espionage in the West.

Meanwhile, US criminal authorities are accusing Huawei of illegal acts, including technology theft and contravention of Iran sanctions. Officers are not allowed to use Huawei and Honor smartphones in the US, and in February 2018, the FBI, CIA, and NSA authorities also advised the general public that CNBC reported. It is currently difficult to see how the judicial and political disputes will develop.

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