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Google-Huawei saga: Don’t worry, existing phones will work just fine

By Zachary Chan - on 22 May 2019, 6:03pm


The past two days have been a whirldwind for smartphone maker Huawei, after being put on a band list by the US Government, Google announced on 20th May, that they were pulling support for all future Huawei products effective immediately. Soon after, other hardware vendors followed suit to comply with the US ruling.

This has no doubt caused quite the ruckus among existing Huawei users who woke up to news that their brand new thousand-dollar smartphone has turned into a brick overnight. There has been a flurry of selling over channels such as Carousell, and reports of local Singapore mobile shops that have stopped accepting Huawei trade-ins.

However, if we interpret this news correctly, existing owners of Huawei hardware—up to the latest P30 and P30 Pro—should have nothing to worry about. Your device will continue to work, likely till the natural end of its lifespan, which isn’t that long in smartphone years anyway. Only future, unreleased products, such as the Mate 30 (originally expected to be launched in October 2019) would be impacted by this ban.

Both Huawei and Google have basically released statements to back up this train of thought through their official social media channels.

Huawei Mobile Facebook page:

Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry. 

Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering those have been sold or still in stock globally. 

We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.

Android Twitter account:

For Huawei users' questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov't requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.

On the 21st May, Huawei was granted a temporary reprieve with a 90-day lifting of the ban, which allows Google and other vendors to continue working with Huawei in the short term, where hopefully a permanent solution can be found.

We reached out to Huawei again for further clarification about what this would mean past this 90-day period, specifically in relation to existing devices and this is what they had to say:

The products we have sold and currently sell will not be affected. You will be able to continue using these services as you normally would. - Huawei

So, even in the true worse case scenario that the ban is enforced and Huawei really loses access to Google, it will only affect future devices.  This means that you should be able to safely cycle out your existing product naturally when you are due for your next upgrade.

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