Watch: Google pulls Huawei’s Android license: CWSI Explains the Implications
Watch our webinar delivered by Colm Warner explaining the ban and its implications.
Google has announced it will be barring Chinese smartphone maker Huawei from updates to its Android operating system, as it complies with directions from the US government.
For Huawei users’ questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov’t requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.
— Android (@Android) May 20, 2019
The announcement today that Google will no longer be able to support Huawei devices in it’s Android ecosystem is significant. We won’t go into the cause of the decision but instead would like to focus on the implications for enterprise customers.
First of all we need to be very clear on what has been stated by Google and Huawei, Reuters has a good summary.
What we know:
What does this mean for enterprise customers?
If you have an existing investment in Huawei devices your corporate fleet is now at risk of not being able to get security or operating system updates at some stage in the future. The statements so far are that Huawei will continue support but this cannot be guaranteed.
If you are using Android Enterprise features such as Android Zero Touch you could find devices can no longer use these services. Depending on where you are in your device lifecycle you should seriously consider a replacement device platform.
Note if you use Huawei laptops they might also be affected by the ban on using chips from Intel, Qualcomm, and Broadcom. This should not affect existing service but repair and new stock cannot be guaranteed (Huawei have indicated they have approx. 3 months stock).
If you have AER certification as a requirement in your procurement processes and tenders (which we would always strongly recommend) for android devices you need to make sure Huawei is removed for now from approved device lists. You should contact your device vendor as soon as possible to find out what provisions are in place for your existing fleet and short term stock orders and investigate alternative device platforms.
This decision has the potential to disrupt Android Enterprise ecosystem significantly; as one of the key benefits of AER certified devices was that they could be bought knowing you would get software support for at least 3 years.
Fragmentation of the android OEM ecosystem and inability to predict availability of devices and security and software patches was a major reason Enterprise customers held off on Android as a platform choice. AER was a major step to removing that fragmentation but the ability of a single country being able to essentially kill off a major OEM vendor makes the stability and viability of AER less certain and sets a worrying trend of potential future trade disputes weaponizing supply chain dependence.
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