Nepal | July 03, 2020

Huawei mobile users ponder switching brand after Google news

Reuters
Share Now:
  • Huawei has been snatching market share from Apple, Samsung
  • Row with US over security hit Huawei handset business
  • New Huawei phones may not offer popular Google services

LONDON/MUMBAI: Time to abandon the Huawei phone? That was what some owners asked after US tech giant Google said it would suspend its business with China’s top mobile maker, threatening future access to Gmail, YouTube and Chrome.

Google said on Monday it would comply with an order by US President Donald Trump to stop supplying Huawei, meaning it would no longer be able to offer its popular Android apps to buyers of new Huawei phones.

The order to US companies could affect tens of millions of consumers in Europe, its biggest market outside mainland China.

“I was absolutely shocked,” Luna Angellica, the Dutch owner of a new Huawei P smart+ contacted by Reuters in London, said after the Google news. She was already “considering saving up” for a rival model, she added.

Trump’s move, said to be motivated by spying concerns amid a bitter trade war with China, could at a single blow derail Huawei’s ambitions to overtake Samsung as the world’s biggest phone maker.

“I like the phone so much – I’m just kinda scared one day I’ll be forced to buy another phone,” said Anthony Chiringa, who lives in Nairobi and bought his Huawei Y7 for $180 two weeks ago.

“Buying a new phone to replace another one will be another expense for me. Rather Huawei should come up with a way whereby the current Huawei users can be able to replace their phones for free,” he said.

Emerging economies such as Kenya are key to Huawei’s ambitions as it seeks to sell more low- to mid-priced handsets outside China. India, where Huawei now has only single-figure market share, is also potentially vital.

“I was already in two minds about buying the phone,” said Sumeet Lyallpuri, 46, a businessman in Mumbai who had been considering upgrading his existing Huawei to the brand’s P30.

“Now if Google updates are not available for Huawei phones, Google Play or apps such as YouTube are not there I wouldn’t want to buy the phone at least for the time being,” he said.

Manish Khatri, the owner of a smartphone shop in Mumbai, India‘s financial hub, said some customers had been looking for Huawei phones. “Now with Google deciding to have a limited relationship with Huawei I will direct customers to other smartphones brands such as Samsung or Apple,” he said.

USERS “PUNISHED”

Huawei said on Monday it would continue to provide security updates and services for its smartphones and tablets that have already been sold.

And Google’s team working on the Android operating system told Huawei users on its Twitter @Android account it would comply with US requirements while ensuring “services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.”

Replies to the tweet ranged from frustration to worry.

“So because of a US law, you actually punish millions of international users by banning them?” wrote Andreas Benjaminsen, who described himself as an open source enthusiast on @photolsen account. Twitter user Ania K. wrote on @kuleczka1983: “I am very worried … I’m the owner of a P30 Pro”.

Neither user could immediately be reached for comment.

Operators, who tie phones into their networks with mobile line contracts for calls and data, were also racing to determine the impact on their businesses from Google’s decision.

“We are reviewing the details of the executive order to understand any potential implications for our customers,” Spain’s Telefonica, Europe’s third largest mobile operator.

Hutchison’s British network operator Three told customers that Huawei’s routers and devices would continue working, but also said it was seeking further information.

“We are in discussions with Huawei and will provide a further update as soon as we can,” the firm said in statement.

Huawei, which is also the global leader in telecoms networking equipment, is embroiled in a long-running row with the United States over the security of its systems and devices.

The U.S. administration has said Huawei equipment could be used by China for espionage and Washington has pressed its allies to use other suppliers. Huawei denies the US charges.

Huawei’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, had said before Google’s announcement on Saturday that growth of the Chinese tech giant “may slow, but only slightly” due to recent US actions.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

TUTH. Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj

49-day-old infant diagnosed with Covid-19 passes away in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: A 49-day-old infant diagnosed with Covid-19 passed away on Wednesday evening at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), where he was receiving treatment. Ministry of Health and Population, in its regular press briefing, confirmed the passing of the baby. The infant -- resident o Read More...

PM advised to reach out to rival NCP faction

Kathmandu, July 1 A day after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was asked by Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Standing Committee members to resign from both the posts of prime minister and party co-chair, the PM was advised by his aides in the party to reach out to the rival faction. Oli held a meeting Read More...

Nepal could witness yet another huge locust invasion

Kathmandu, July 1 The Locusts Information Centre has warned that a large swarm of locusts is likely to enter Nepal from India over the next couple of days. According to the centre, the swarm of locusts is headed towards Darjeeling from Bhagalpur and Motihari in Bihar. As the swarm is likely to Read More...

Hunger strike by youth activists enters sixth day

KATHMANDU, JULY 1 Iih, 26, who initiated ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign demanding effective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the government, has been on fastunto-death in a sattal (rest house) at Patan Durbar Square as his hunger strike entered the sixth day today. Iih has been joined by Read More...

‘Citizenship bill not inclusive’

KATHMANDU, JULY 1 Although the constitution is progressive in terms of citizenship issues it does not guarantee equality. Even after five years of the promulgation of the constitution, necessary amendments have yet to be made to Citizenship Act-2006, as per the provisions of the constitution. Read More...

Obrador

Mexican president to hold first meeting with Trump, Democrats unimpressed

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's president and his US counterpart Donald Trump will hold their first meeting on July 8 in Washington, officials said on Wednesday, sparking complaints from Democratic lawmakers, who saw it as a political stunt with elections looming. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ha Read More...

Twitter removes image tweet by Trump over copyright complaint

Twitter Inc has taken down an image tweet by the US President Donald Trump on June 30, in response to a report from a copyright holder. Twitter now displays the message “This image has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder,” in place of the tweet. News website Axio Read More...

Gunmen kill 24 people in attack on Mexican drug rehab center

MEXICO CITY: At least 24 people were killed in an armed attack on a drug rehabilitation facility in the central Mexican city of Irapuato, Mexican police said on Wednesday, underlining the challenge the government has in fulfilling a pledge to stop gang violence. Police in the city in Guanajuato s Read More...