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Will Australian Huawei customers be affected by the Google ban

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Google has cut off Huawei from updates to its Android operating system and caused a lot of confusion with customers and raised questions about the future of the company.

Tech Guide was inundated with questions from readers about what this all means for customers so we’ll answer all those questions.

This action came about following an executive order by the Trump administration to ban Huawei from doing business with US companies.

Huawei released a statement in response to the suspension:

“We want to assure Huawei customers in Australia that the US actions involving Google will not impact consumers with a Huawei smartphone or tablet or those that are planning to buy a Huawei device in the near future from an Australian retail outlet.

“Consumers with Huawei devices will still receive security updates and be able to use Google apps.

“Huawei will continue to provide after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.

“Australian consumers will be able to continue using Google services like Google Play and Gmail on their Huawei phones as they normally would.

“Google Android updates will continue to be provided for Huawei EMUI and Google apps will not be affected.

“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.

“We will continue to prioritize the development and use of the Android ecosystem.

“Huawei will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”

So what now for Huawei and for Huawei customers?

Here are the questions we were asked.

WILL MY HUAWEI PHONE STILL WORK?

Yes it will. Huawei devices will continue to operate normally with the existing version of the Android operating system.

WILL I BE ABLE TO RECEIVE ANDROID UPDATES?

Google cannot remove an existing version of Android from a Huawei device but, according to this new directive, you will no longer supply updates.

Some of those updates involve security improvements but Huawei has said in its statement it would continue to provide its own updates for existing customers through the Huawei EMUI software that sits on top of Android.

WILL STILL BE ABLE TO ACCESS THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE?

Existing Huawei customers who are signed into the Google Play Store should still be able to access apps.

Google actually confirmed this in a statement of their own saying: “Google Play

and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices”.

CAN HUAWEI USERS STILL USE GOOGLE APPS?

Yes you can. Apps like Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs and a host of others will still operate on a Huawei device because they already installed.

What we don’t know is whether users will be able to access updates to these individual apps.

We think that’s unlikely given the restriction of receiving Android OS updates.

But Huawei says updates will still come through the EMUI software.

I GOT MY HUAWEI PHONE ON A PLAN – CAN THE TELCOS HELP ME?

Tech Guide contacted all three telcos – Telstra, Vodafone and Optus – asking whether a customer who purchased a Huawei device on a plan had any kind of protection.

We only heard back from Vodafone who said there would be no immediate impact to Vodafone customers and that they are working with their partners to understand the implications.

Optus and Telstra did not reply to our inquiries.

With Android updates, these are sometimes handled through the telco rather than from Google itself.

If Google sends an update to an Australian carrier which then provides it to its customers, which include Huawei users, could this be a workaround for the US ban on Huawei?

SHOULD I STILL BUY A HUAWEI DEVICE?

Many customers were no doubt considering purchasing a Huawei device and may be hesitant after these latest developments.

In its statement, Huawei assured existing and future customers will not be impacted by the US actions involving Google.

But the company hasn’t completely outlined how this will happen.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR HUAWEI?

Many may see this as a fatal blow for Huawei.

It’s not.

The company will continue to operate.

In fact, Huawei said it had been working on technology for the past few years in case something like this happened.

The company may very well create its own operating system.

That’s what it did for China where most of the popular Google apps like Gmail are banned.