The news that Google may stop supporting Android on Huawei phones has inevitably hit their sales. But in the UK at least Huawei is fighting back.
The US state is pressuring any company that wants to stay on its good side to sever all business ties with Huawei, which it has decided is an abject security risk due to its presumed obedience to the Chinese state. A month ago it emerged that Google had bowed to this pressure and was suspending some dealings with Huawei, which raised the prospect of Huawei smartphones no longer receiving updates or security support for their Android operating systems.
Understandably this is likely to have a profound effect on Huawei smartphone sales as who would want to buy a phone, however powerful and shiny, with compromised software? Huawei’s UK consumer group has moved to address these concerns with a new website called ‘Huawei Answers’, which is set up in an FAQ style, designed to address consumer concerns about its phones by debunking rumours.
The main concern most prospective Huawei smartphone punters will have is whether or not their devices will be updated to the latest version of Android when it becomes available. “Our most popular current devices, including the P30 series, will be able to access Android Q,” announces Huawei Answers in its preamble, before tackling other ‘common points of confusion’. You might as well see the lot here.
RUMOUR #1 – Huawei smartphones and tablets will no longer get software or security updates.
Ongoing security and software updates will continue to be provided to keep all Huawei smartphones and tablets secure and up-to-date.
RUMOUR #2 – Android will be automatically uninstalled from Huawei smartphones and tablets.
Android will not be automatically uninstalled from Huawei smartphones and tablets. We continue to work closely with our partners to ensure our consumers can always enjoy the best possible experience.
RUMOUR #3 – Huawei users will not be able to download or use apps like WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram.
For all Huawei smartphones and tablets, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram apps can be downloaded and used as normal.
RUMOUR #4 – Windows will no longer work on Huawei PCs.
We can confirm that Huawei devices with Microsoft software will be upgraded and supported
RUMOUR #5 – If you reset your Huawei smartphone or tablet, you will lose access permanently to Android Services and Google Apps.
If you reset your Huawei smartphone or tablet to factory settings, Android Services and Google Apps can still be downloaded and used as normal.
RUMOUR #6 – The current situation impacts the warranty on Huawei smartphones and tablets.
Nothing has changed. Huawei provides after-sales service as before, in accordance with the existing warranty policy.
RUMOUR #7 – Huawei smartphones & tablets will offer reduced functionality.
All Huawei smartphones & tablets will continue to function as they currently do.
RUMOUR #8 – Huawei will no longer sell smartphones.
Huawei will continue to sell smartphones. Furthermore, we will continue to invest in research and development to deliver leading innovation and the best possible smartphone experience.
RUMOUR #9 – The P30 & the P30 Pro won’t get access to Android Q.
We are confident that our most popular devices, including the P30 series, will be able to access Android Q. We have been working with third parties for many months to ensure devices will be able to receive Android Q updates. Technical preparations and testing has already begun for over 17 devices. In fact our Mate 20 Pro has already been given approval to receive Android Q as and when it is released by Google.
Here is the list of the products we have submitted to upgrade to Android Q
Mate 20 Pro
PORSCHE DESIGN Mate 20 RS
P smart 2019
P smart+ 2019
P smart Z
Mate 20 X
Mate 20 X (5G)
Mate 10 Pro
PORSCHE DESIGN Mate 10
Mate 20 Lite
It’s a game effort but, just as with broader concerns about security, Huawei is still asking people to take its word for this stuff. The use of hedging language such as ‘we continue to work closely’ and ‘we are confident that’ probably doesn’t help either.
This initiative is reminiscent of the Huawei Facts Twitter account, which also exists to present the company in a positive light. It recently revealed that, in spite of all this argie-bargie, Huawei has already shifted 100 million smartphone units this year. It managed over 200 million in the whole 2018 but it wouldn’t be surprising to see it fall short of that number this year as second half shipments fall off a cliff due to the above concerns.