Even if you’re not sure how to pronounce it (“Wah-way”), you’ve most likely heard of Huawei. (1) As well as being a leading manufacturer of smartphones, Huawei have recently hit the headlines after President Trump signed an executive order in May preventing US organizations purchasing telecommunications products from foreign manufacturers.
Huawei, a Chinese company, is assumed to be a major target of the executive order as the company has been suspected of spying and being a security threat for a while. As far as the technology goes, the validity of these allegations is unimportant – what matters is that Huawei devices can no longer be purchased for use in your enterprise mobility strategy, and in any case, Google have revoked Huawei’s license to run Android on any new devices.
Huawei responded with its own OS and app store, but the hardware ban remains. (2)
Working In The Present
Huawei devices will continue to function for the foreseeable future and may even receive further software and security updates direct from Google. However, this isn’t guaranteed, and it is unlikely there will be updates from Huawei without a significant change in the policy.
This means that as time goes on, existing Huawei devices are likely to become less secure, and will not have access to any new features. This should cause significant concern for businesses as their security cannot be guaranteed and ultimately many current functions may be come unavailable due to the outdated OS.
Planning For The Future
Quite simply, if you want to use Android and/or Google services, Huawei will not be your solution. Huawei is no longer on the list of Android Enterprise Recommended vendors and is unlikely to return. (3)
Huawei previously provided well-specified products at reasonable prices which caused many businesses to choose their devices. To plan effectively for the future, a decision may need to be made choosing power or price as the middle ground option is no longer viable.
This is often best done by looking at the potential lifecycle of the device and choosing the best fit for your organization. A professional Mobility Lifecycle Management (MLM) company will be able to reduce costs and still ensure a great user experience by providing support where it is needed.
What If The Ban Is Lifted?
As with every piece of foreign policy and diplomatic relations, anything is possible – the ban could be lifted at any time. However, there has been significant damage caused to the reputation of Huawei which may dissuade many from choosing to use them again, and there is no guarantee that they would be allowed – or even want – to use Android again.