President Trump issued a decree last week banning "foreign opponents" from doing telecom business in the United States. This decision was widely understood as a ban on Huawei products and we are now starting to see the benefits. According to a Reuters report, Google has "suspended" its business with Huawei, and the company will be excluded from Google's Android ecosystem. It's still the ZTE ban.
Reuters details the consequences of the Trump order, stating that "Huawei Technologies Co Ltd will immediately lose access to the Android operating system updates, and that the next version of its smartphones outside China would also lose access to popular apps and services, including the Google Play Store and the Gmail app. "
Huawei's loss of access to "updates" is most likely a reference to Android Q, to which hardware manufacturers have quick access. Since Android is an open source, Huawei could resume development once the source code is available. The real killer is the loss of Google Play Store and its Google Play services, which allows access to billions of popular Android apps and Google apps such as Gmail and Maps. Reuters says that this will only happen on "the next version" of Huawei's smartphones, which means that existing devices on the Play Store will continue to operate.
Huawei does not exercise a lot of business related to smartphones in the United States. Forbidding Huawei to sell phones to US consumers will not change much. Huawei has made several attempts to break into the US market, but congressional pressure on its individual trading partners, such as AT & T and Verizon, has pushed them to forgo agreements with the company. Besides smart phones, Huawei is also one of the world's largest suppliers of network and telecommunications equipment. This ban will prevent routers, towers and other equipment of the company from entering the US networks. A previous Reuters report had detailed the problem that the ban would cause in rural states like Wyoming and Oregon, which have adopted Huawei equipment.
The real change is the ban made to US companies to provide software and hardware to Huawei. Outside of China, this ruling is a death sentence for Huawei smartphones in countries like Europe and India. There is no viable alternative to Google's Android ecosystem. As a result, Huawei smartphones without Google are going through a difficult period. The only company to use Google without-Android is somehow Amazon, which sells forked Android tablets that are so cheap and so disposable that they are sold in a six-pack. Amazon is also an American company, so the Amazon App Store app would probably not be available for Huawei.
In the country of origin of Huawei, China, little will change. Google does not do a lot of commerce in China, the Play Store and Google Play services do not exist there. As a result, the landscape of the app stores is quite fragmented. Most OEMs operate their own application store or license to a third-party application store owned by other Chinese companies such as Tencent or 360 Mobile.
Last year, when ZTE was faced with a similar ban on doing business in the United States, it was forced to close its operations around the world. According to Reuters, 25% of ZTE's smartphone components come from the United States, and the double advantage of being banned from the ecosystem of Google's Android applications and the purchase of smartphone chips from Qualcomm was too much for society. Huawei is much bigger than ZTE and more independent. Qualcomm has almost the monopoly of high-end Android SoC and cellular connectivity technology, but Huawei is one of two Android manufacturers (the other is Samsung) with its own design division fleas. Huawei's flagship products all have SoCs from Huawei's "HiSilicon" chips division, and the company even makes its own 5G modems.
If the ban persists, it is possible that Huawei will ship Android versions of Android with Huawei App Store, without Google versions, which will extend its ecosystem of Chinese applications to the rest of the world. Huawei has also done some development work on an internal operating system, but it is unclear whether this would be a better option than using Android. Huawei is the world's second largest supplier of smartphones, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple, and has seen its terminal shipments grow explosively by 50% year-on-year. Whatever decision is made, this represents a big problem for Google and the rest of the Android ecosystem.