With Google preparing to restrict Huawei’s use of Android, it’s important that you know what is happening, how it will affect you and more importantly, what you can do about it.
So what is actually happening?
At the beginning of May this year, President Donald Trump issued an executive order which prevents “foreign adversaries” accessing US technology without prior government approval. Huawei is adamant that it adheres to the laws of every country where it’s services are used, suggesting that Trump’s order has nothing to do with security, but more so about trade.
Huawei phone users may find it difficult to download and use future Android systems, applications and security updates, as it’s software is developed by the US company, Google. Google has already announced that it will be restricting Huawei’s access to the software, but the facts and certainties aren’t so clear.
Don’t panic just yet!
Following Google’s announcement, Huawei has been given a 90 day grace period, so don’t panic and think that your phone will stop working overnight, you have until around the middle of August before the restrictions will take effect.
Questionable security updates
Both Huawei and Google have released very limited information, so it is unclear as to whether Huawei users will have access to security updates as they do now. There may be delays in accessing updates which could then create delays in fixing security flaws. It is hoped that Android users will be able to get the next update (due later in the year) but the one after that is very questionable.
What about purchases that you have already made?
Don’t worry as the current use of your purchased apps will not be affected. Existing Huawei devices should also be able to use Google Play for the foreseeable future. Future devices will be the ones that struggle and may not be able to gain access to certain apps.
Devices you may buy in the future
If you were to buy a Huawei phone in the future, you may not be able to load some Google apps, like Google Maps and Youtube. Again, this has not been confirmed, currently, it’s fairly speculative.
With both parties releasing minimal information, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly what the future holds for Huawei and Android.
Your rights as a consumer
Please do remember that your device is currently not affected by the upcoming changes and should, therefore, work as normal. It’s highly unlikely that you will be eligible for any sort of refund at the moment as nothing yet has changed.
However, if you have recently purchased a Huawei phone then you may want to look into the returns policy, simply to avoid hassle in the future.
When the changes do come into effect, it remains unclear as to what rights you may have and this may be the case until someone decides to take legal action.
The bottom line is, you purchased a phone which will still be fit for purpose when the changes are applied. Whether or not the operating system being affected will alter this decision, we are yet to find out and it may be down to the courts to make that judgement.