Huawei Android ban: What the Google block means for phone buyers

Confused about what the sea of reports about Huawei and Google’s latest schism, including what impact it’ll have on your shiny new Huawei P30 or Huawei P30 Pro?

Well you’re not alone. Which is why we’ve created a definitive guide detailing everything you need to know about what the Huawei Android ban means for general consumers and phone buyers.

Huawei Android ban: Why it happened

Google’s parent Alphabet announced it would suspend any business that “requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing,” with Huawei on Monday.

The move came after the US White House issued an Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain on May 15. The order was part of the country’s ongoing tit-for-tat battle with China over trade. It followed widespread, but currently unproven, claims Huawei tech was being used by the Chinese government for spying.

Google isn’t the only company to reportedly be cutting ties with Huawei following the order. Microsoft recently removed the company’s MateBook laptops from its store. Intel, ARM and Qualcomm have also been reportedly forced to instigate bans.

We’ve contacted Microsoft, ARM, Qualcomm and Intel about the blocks but hadn’t received replies at the time of publishing. We’ll update this article when we do.

Huawei Android ban: What services won’t work

The Google ban means that future Huawei phones and tablets will no longer have an Android license. Huawei tech will no longer receive software updates, be upgraded to new versions of Android or have access to the Google Play Store and Services as a result. This will lock Huawei devices out of the app store and mean popular services like Google Maps, Music, YouTube and Assistant will not work.

Related: Best Android phones

Huawei Android ban: Which phones are affected?

Huawei confirmed its existing phones will continue to have access to the Play Store and services in a statement sent to Trusted Reviews, which you can see in full below.

“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.”

Google has since reiterated this statement in a tweet from Android’s official Twitter account.

This means key handset including the Huawei P30, Huawei P30 Pro, Huawei Mate 20 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro will still have access to Google’s services and operate as normal, for now.

It is unclear how long this will continue to be the case, however. The consumer version of Android Q is set to launch towards the end of the year. The ban will stop all Huawei phones from being updated to it. The ban also means Huawei phones will lose access to app updates if Huawei updates its own software, which really isn’t an ideal situation.

The ban also means that any future Huawei phones will not have access to the services. Which will severely hinder the appeal of things like the highly rumoured Huawei Mate 30 and the foldable Mate X.

Huawei Android ban: Does it include Honor?

The Android ban also applies to phones from Huawei’s subsidiary brand Honor. At the time of publishing its newly unveiled Honor 20 Pro did still have access to Google services.

Huawei Android ban: When does it take effect

The ban was originally meant to take effect on 16 May, but Google has since reportedly given Huawei a 90 day extension, while it “evaluates” the ramifications of the executive order.

We’ll be updating this page as and when new information comes out. Make sure to bookmark it and check back with Trusted Reviews for all the latest information on the Huawei Android ban.

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