Some owners of Huawei Mobile are considering if it is time to abandon the Huawei phone after U.S. tech giant Google said it would suspend its business with China’s top mobile maker, threatening future access to Gmail, YouTube and Chrome.
Google said on Monday it would comply with an order by U.S. President Donald Trump to stop supplying Huawei, meaning it would no longer be able to offer its popular Android apps to buyers of new Huawei phones.
The order to U.S. companies could affect tens of millions of consumers in Europe, its biggest market outside mainland China.
“I was absolutely shocked,” Luna Angellica, the Dutch owner of a new Huawei P smart+ contacted by Reuters in London, said after the Google news. She was already “considering saving up” for a rival model, she added.
Trump’s move, said to be motivated by spying concerns amid a bitter trade war with China, could at a single blow derail Huawei’s ambitions to overtake Samsung as the world’s biggest phone maker.
“I like the phone so much – I’m just kinda scared one day I’ll be forced to buy another phone,” said Anthony Chiringa, who lives in Nairobi and bought his Huawei Y7 for $180 two weeks ago.
“Buying a new phone to replace another one will be another expense for me. Rather Huawei should come up with a way whereby the current Huawei users can be able to replace their phones for free,” he said.
Emerging economies such as Kenya are key to Huawei’s ambitions as it seeks to sell more low- to mid-priced handsets outside China. India, where Huawei now has only single-figure market share, is also potentially vital.
“I was already in two minds about buying the phone,” said Sumeet Lyallpuri, 46, a businessman in Mumbai who had been considering upgrading his existing Huawei to the brand’s P30.
“Now if Google updates are not available for Huawei phones, Google Play or apps such as YouTube are not there I wouldn’t want to buy the phone at least for the time being,” he said.
Manish Khatri, the owner of a smartphone shop in Mumbai, India’s financial hub, said some customers had been looking for Huawei phones. “Now with Google deciding to have a limited relationship with Huawei I will direct customers to other smartphones brands such as Samsung or Apple,” he said.