That past few days have been especially rough for Huawei. It seems that fate has finally caught up to it and the US has expressed no plans to grant it any more reprieves. With the expiration of the temporary general license, support for Huawei products in the US has been left in limbo. Now the company’s mobile division has unofficially confirmed software updates will still continue but Google has yet to weigh in if it will be as simple as that.
The situation surrounding Huawei’s use of Android isn’t exactly straightforward. On the one hand, it’s pretty clear that it no longer has access to Google Play Store on new devices it launched since May 2019. On the other hand, it still has a number of smartphones that do have Google’s software and still fall under the usual two-year support period.
The question is now whether the latter phones will still get updates and Huawei Mobile’s tweet answer at least part of that. It says that there is no impact on existing devices and that those will continue to receive security and software updates. That, however, may only apply the OS updates that Huawei can get from the Android Open Source Project repository without any legal impediment.
Things might be a bit less clear-cut when it comes to Google Play apps and services, the latter of which are updated in the background directly from Google itself. That might run afoul of the US government’s ban and Google would have to stop pushing out such updates to all Huawei and Honor phones. Unfortunately, Google continues to remain silent on that question.
It definitely doesn’t bode well for Huawei’s mobile market outside of China even as it tries to build up an app and services ecosystem to replace Google’s. It will also have to address concerns about its ability to produce phones at all after the US government issued rules that hamper its ability to have processors and semiconductors made with US technologies.