BREAKING NEWS: Carriers & Retailers Move To Drop Huawei Smartphones
Several phone carriers and retailers around the world have overnight moved, to stop selling Huawei smartphones including the new P30 and P20 handsets, after Google dropped support for Android for the Chinese Companies devices, and in other moves giant U.K. chip design company Arm Holdings, is suspending its business with Huawei following Washington’s blacklisting of the Chinese technology giant.
In Australia Telstra has already stopped selling the Companies handsets over security concerns, now carriers in the U.K, Japan and Taiwan have moved to strip Huawei product in a move that will impede the Chinese technology giant’s global smartphone ambitions.
In Japan the Country’s largest carrier NTT Docomo stopped taking pre-orders for Huawei’s new P30 handset, and archrival KDDI delayed the introduction of the phone indefinitely. SoftBank’s YMobile announced a similar move, citing concerns over the availability of software updates.
Taiwanese carrier Chunghwa Telecom said it won’t stock any new Huawei models.
In the UK the BT Group decided not to include Huawei phones in Britain’s first 5G network because of uncertainty over whether they could use Android, a spokesman for the carrier said.
“We’ve put the Huawei devices on pause until we’ve got a bit more information on that,” the head of BT’s consumer division, Marc Allera, told reporters ahead of the start of 5G services next week.
ChannelNews understands that Telstra will not launch a Huewei 5G handset after announcing that they are initially going with the Samsung 5G device.
President Donald Trump’s move last week to put Huawei on an export blacklist amid a trade war with Beijing threatens to cut the tech company off from U.S. software and component suppliers. Telecom operators fear that could affect the functioning of its newest handsets as Huawei won’t get access to the most popular version of the Android mobile operating system developed by Alphabet’s Google.
The move by carriers is set to dent the Companies ambitions to overtake Samsung as the world’s No. 1 handset supplier this year after leapfrogging Apple last year.
At Huawei mobile phones and other devices that make up their consumer business account for almost half of its revenue.
More than a billion smartphones are sold annually worldwide, and many are bought wholesale by telecom operators. They include the devices in their wireless subscription plans for a monthly fee, making them a vital sales channel.
In the UK Vodafone has paused pre-orders for the Huawei Mate 20X (5G) “a temporary measure while uncertainty exists regarding new Huawei 5G devices,” a spokesman said.
British retail chain Dixons Carphone quickly followed suit overnight also pausing Huawei 5G phone preorder’s, a spokeswoman said.
This is an unfortunate time for a 5G handset manufacturer to suffer damage to its reputation, CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood, told Bloomberg, he who estimates the next generation of phones will make up over 30% of the roughly 18 million devices sold in the U.K. market alone next year.
“The problem is that even if all of this was fixed overnight, and the U.S. administration said, ‘Terrible mistake, it’s all fine, silly us,’ the uncertainty that it’s created is Huawei’s biggest enemy now,” he said.
Thousands of owners of Huawei phones around the world took to social media to express concern over the potential impact on their handsets. Huawei’s marketing team assured customers their phones would continue to be safe and usable.
Should Google’s system no longer be available, “then the alternative option will naturally come out — either from Huawei or someone else,” Abraham Liu, Huawei’s representative to the European Union institutions, said at an event in Brussels on Tuesday.
Europe is a key market for Huawei’s consumer business because of its appetite for high-end phones. Huawei is also the region’s biggest supplier of mobile network equipment and has staked out a major role in rolling out 5G networks worth billions of euros. Huawei is already effectively barred from Australia and the U.S.