It's fair to say Huawei's future in the consumer electronics market is under some threat. In addition to the news that Google has stopped working with Huawei, a number of other companies including Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and Broadcom have also ceased supplying Huawei with components as part of the US trade war with China.
Huawei has now responded.
A Bloomberg report suggests there fallout of this action against Huawei could have far reaching effects. While the obvious challenges are with Huawei, companies that rely on trade with the Chinese giant are also threatened.
Huawei has played things quietly and provided this offical response:
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.
While most of the statement is designed to provide some assurance to existing customers and distributors that products they have will continue to be supported, it's the last sentence that tells the real truth.
Huawei has been preparing for a time when it could operate independently of external suppliers. It already makes its own system-on-chip (SoC), the Kirin. And it also makes the Balong smartphone modem chip.
And it's worth noting not all the components it relies on come from US-based companies. In other words, it's building its own hardware and software ecosystem. Huawei already makes the operating system for the Watch GT. In that regard it's a lot like Apple who designs much of its own silicon and is reducing its reliance on external suppliers.
Huawei is playing a long game. The statement the company has issued placates today's users and tells us it will build its own ecosystem that's not dependent on potentially hostile trading partners.
Jeremy Mitchell, the Director of Corporate Affairs at Huawei Australia provided this statement
We want to assure Huawei customers in Australia that the US actions involving Google will not impact consumers with a Huawei smartphone or tablet or those that are planning to buy a Huawei device in the near future from an Australian retail outlet.
Consumers with Huawei devices will still receive security updates and be able to use Google apps. Huawei will continue to provide after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.
Australian consumers will be able to continue using Google services like Google Play and Gmail on their Huawei phones as they normally would.
Google Android updates will continue to be provided for Huawei EMUI and Google apps will not be affected.
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. We will continue to prioritize the development and use of the Android ecosystem.
Huawei will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.