Huawei Smartphones Without Android Will Just Be Paperweights: Report

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Google's restriction of business ties with Huawei, the world's No. 2 smartphone maker, could hit the demand for the Chinese firm's devices overseas by reducing them to be paperweights and give market leader Samsung a leg up in cementing its lead in Android devices, a media report said on Tuesday. Rival phone brands Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, would benefit from Google's suspension of services to Huawei, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Last week, the Trump administration had placed Huawei and its affiliates on a blacklist, a move that essentially bans the Chinese firm from purchasing parts and components from American companies without the US government approval.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., said it is complying with and "reviewing the implications" of the requirement for export licenses for technology sales to Huawei, which uses Google's Android operating system in its smartphones.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei Tuesday downplayed the impact of the US executive order against his firm, saying Washington "underestimates" the telecom giant's strength, as reported by PTI.

Google's move to curtail access to its Android operating system means that the Shenzhen-based company will no longer be able to run Google's popular apps and services such as Gmail, YouTube or its Google Play app store on future Huawei devices, the Post said.

For markets outside China, the removal of these critical Google services will mean that overseas consumers will think twice about buying Huawei devices in future. That is a big problem for Huawei, as about half of the 208 million smartphones it shipped in 2018 went to markets outside of China, it said.

"As far as overseas markets go, this move just turned Huawei's upcoming phones into paperweights," said Bryan Ma, vice-president of client devices research at IDC Asia-Pacific.

"The phones won't be very useful any more without Google apps on them, and other apps will be unable to call on Google Play services," the Post quoted him as saying.

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