Round 1 in the Trade War goes to Donald Trump. But what happens next? Which alternatives does the mobile phone supplier and smartphone manufacturer Huawei have?
Round 1 is clear Donald Trump: His trade embargo on Huawei shows effect: Google will stop the Android support for Huawei after a transitional period of three months. Certifications are no longer available for new devices, which means that the delivery of the recently introduced Honor 20 Pro will be postponed indefinitely. Even the folding Huawei Mate X and the expected next fall successor to the current Mate 20 Pro may take longer to come.
According to reports Huawei devices are now much less sought after the currently still available devices such as the Huawei P30 Pro. In the UK, the slump is expected to be particularly large and over 50 percent.
The actual decline in sales is likely to be even higher, as it is expected that many previous buyers of Huawei smartphones call the specifications of their previous favorites only for it again, in order to use these for the search for a comparison device.
And even if prospective buyers still remain loyal to Huawei after an Internet search: traders who advise against the Huawei purchase because of the uncertain update situation are likely to have a further negative influence.
Own operating system in the drawer
As if Huawei had suspected that there would be problems with the important partner Google, Huawei has been developing for some time on its own operating system. HongMeng OS, Huawei’s own OS was birthed in 2018, and the recent ego trip of the United States of America have pushed the Chinese mobile manufacturing company to incorporate their OS into their new smartphones. But it will take some time until it is ported to the current generation of devices. It should be ready by the beginning of 2020. The new system could be called “Arc OS” or “Huawei OS”.
Android apps are said to run even faster on Arc OS than on Android – possibly because they translate directly into native processor instructions rather than Java bytecode. In addition, the efficiency advantage of the native apps can be used not only for a higher execution speed but (due to a lower clocking of the processors) to reduce power consumption. So can the battery life continue to increase?
If everything goes as planned by Huawei, and Huawei manages to improve the camera again, then the Huawei P40 Pro will be the technological leader in its launch next spring. But it will have the big drawback, without the apps of Google (Chrome browser, Google Maps, etc.) and Facebook (next to Facebook Instagram and WhatsApp Messenger) to get along. This should make the devices in many countries, including Germany, unfortunately, almost unsalable.
Own processors !?
Even more serious for Huawei is that the processor designer ARM has canceled the cooperation with Huawei. Although Huawei already manufactures the processors for its smartphones for the most part, it at least partly resorts to ARM designs and patents. Replacing them is likely to be much harder than implementing an Android alternative.
It is expected that despite the embargo, Huawei will continue to sell smartphones, at least in its home market. They will quickly find alternatives to the Google and Facebook apps. As a result, US sales in China are falling, meaning that the trade deficit is even intensifying. In return, China will be blamed on the political scene for breaking Western patents. That’s true, but Huawei leaves no other choice. Because until a WTO arbitration on the trade embargo is decided, years should pass.