Huawei consumer business CEO Richard Yu was recently spotted using the Mate X in an airport. Three months after indefinitely delay the device, Samsung finally announced a revised September release date for the Galaxy Fold on Wednesday. Releasing a phone in September means getting a tough competition with iPhone but it also means getting in front of directly Huawei's Mate X. Huawei's take on the foldable smartphone also broke cover this week after being spotted in the hands of Huawei consumer business CEO Richard Yu at the Shenzhen International Airport, according to a Weibo post spotted by Gizchina.
Although we didn't get any details about when Huawei's competing foldable will launch. The last official statement suggested that the company will release it in September, the same month as Samsung. Huawei's device was due for release back in June but the company had to delay the release to be extra cautious. Huawei's delay was less publically visible. At the time company said that it was taking a cautious approach to release the Mate X. The company spent this time to conduct extensive testing to make sure it was ready for consumers.
As per Huawei it has made significant progress on the device since February but the company didn't reveal any details on what has changed. The hardware is basically the same as it was shown earlier this year. We may not have to long wait until the Mate X release. Samsung had to face PR embarrassment but Huawei's phone was never released for public use. Samsung may have to face the competition but Huawei's license is due to expire on August 19th and this has to clear that what will happen to its OS after that.
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei spoke to Chinese media on Tuesday a few days after U.S President Trump issued orders to blacklist Huawei's business in the United States. He seems relaxed and confident despite of the situation that may cause a huge damage to the company. He said, United States underestimates the company's strength. Many suggest that it is an attempt to stop the company's global ambition and possible domination in next-generation 5G technology. He said, Huawei's 5G will absolutely not be affected. In terms of 5G technologies, others won't be able to catch up with Huawei in two or three years.
Last year, Trump declared a so-called national emergency which empowers him to blacklist companies seen as ‘an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States' - which seem to be clearly aimed for Huawei. At the same time, the US commerce department announced an effective ban on American companies to stop them to have any kind of business with Huawei. Ren said, we cannot be isolated from the world. We can also make the same chips as the US chips but it doesn't mean we won't buy them.
Google's operating system Android powers most of the smartphones in the world. After trump administration bans, Google announced to cut-off its ties with Huawei and suspended its licenses for Huawei. Although the company can still use the open-source version of the operating system. This move could have some serious negative implications on the company and its consumer, as the telecom company will no longer be able to access Google's proprietary services such as Gmail, Google maps etc. The US commerce department gave 90 days temporary license to deal with the impact, but Ren said, that we are ready. Huawei said, that Google and the company is working on terms how to deal with the ban as it referred the Google as a highly responsible company. A company spokesperson in Australia said the US actions "will not impact consumers" with a Huawei tablet or smartphone in the country, or those planning to buy a device in the future.
US Department of Commerce provided a temporary license to Huawei for three months. Now the Chinese company will be able to keep sending software updates to its consumers for next three months after receiving a temporary license from the US commerce department. The existing license is due to expire on August 19th. The temporary license, effective from today, allows Huawei to take necessary actions to provide service and support, or software updates, security patches to its existing Huawei handsets that people are already using before May 16, 2019. The license will also allow Huawei to receive any security patches or maintain network equipment.
Last week, the Trump administration declared a national emergency to deal with Chinese technologies growth. This allowed the Secretary of Commerce to block all transactions with China considering it as a national security risk. Soon after the Trump administration blacklist Huawei, Google announced its cut-off with the company as it would be illegal for any company to work with the Chinese telecom giant without written permission from the U.S govt.
Google has announced that it would no long provide Android services for Huawei, although it is said that the company can continue to use the open source version of the OS. The Chinese market wouldn't have a great impact as they are already using the limited version of OS. This move, however, will have negative impact on Huawei's international sales numbers. The temporary general license will allow the company and the department to take the required actions for the customers in America and worldwide who are currently using Huawei devices. After this act, people are assuming that Chinese Govt. will surrender to Trump trade deal with China but only time will tell as the rumors suggest that Huawei has already start working on its own Operating system.
Google has decided to suspend its license to Android operating system to Huawei. Trump administration's action has started to impact Chinese smartphone makers Huawei already. Google has decided to stop licensing its Android OS to Chinese Telecommunication Company, in order to comply with U.S trade blacklist rules. The company however can continue to use open-source version of Android but won't be able to get the security and OS updates, along with usage restrictions on Google's apps like Gmail, Play store etc.
The move will have significant effect on millions of Huawei users and the company's global ambitions. Android operating system powers more than 80% of the world's smartphones. Huawei said they will continue to support existing customers. But if this problem isn't solved, the device will not have access to new version of Android OS called Q. "The revocation of its Android license will mean that it won't be able to provide core Google services to its smartphones," Richardson said.
"The current devices will continue to support Google services and Google updates," Francisco Jeronimo, associate vice president for European devices at IDC, told CNBC by telephone. "I think it's more of a long-term impact than very short term." In China, the story is a different. Consumers there have a limited version of the OS which doesn't come with the pre-installed Google's app like Gmail etc. For Chinese consumers, the impact is almost NILL. Many people suggest that U.S and China will reach a trade deal, and Google will resume its licensing to Huawei. In that case, things will come back to normal. However, if it is a long-term impact, the sales of Huawei will drop as well as its resale value. There won't be any consumers outside the Chinese if this situation continues.
According to the new data from IDC Huawei's smartphone sale increased 50% in the first quarter as compared to the same time line last year. Apple's shipment dropped 30% while Samsung's fell to 8%. Apple and Samsung seems to face a setback in China whereas the Chinese tech giant is showing its statistics with proud. The new figures show Huawei is actually holding the 19% share of the global smartphone industry right now, which is its highest percentage ever. IDC said that the Chinese firm is ready to take the lead as the world's second-largest smartphone seller.
Huawei has already surpassed Apple in 2018, but the first quarter of 2019 is even more optimistic for the company. Apple's sales have been hit by weak demand in China and longer replacement cycles. Apple's CEO Tim Cook expected better results in Chinese market, but the company still reported a 22% drop in revenues in the region for its first quarter 2019. Huawei's consumer business has shown impressive growth over a few years, especially in its premium flagship smartphone area, despite being under fire globally from a US-led campaign against the company.
Huawei dominated the Chinese smartphone market in the first three months, taking a record 34% share as other rivals Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Apple all seem to struggle to get the grounds. The company alone, sold around 30 million phones in the first quarter whereas Apple managed to sale only 6.5 million phones. Apple reported 17% drop in the sale globally as compared to the last year's sale, facing the largest single-quarter decline in the history of the iPhone. In China, Huawei is only getting stronger. The company has opened more brick-and-mortar locations, pushed into rural areas and managed to attract new consumers with its smart devices and accessories.
Unlike Apple, Huawei and other Chinese smartphone makers also have a wide range of low to high-end models, so they can appeal to more cost-conscious buyers. Globally, Huawei seems to be in the position to overtake Samsung as the world's largest smartphone manufactuer in near future.