- With Googles decision to ban Huawei from Google exclusive android apps such as Google play, Google maps and Gmail Google may have created Huaweis dream scenario giving Huawei a viable excuse replacing Android for their own operating system with complete control of handsets from chip to screen.
- China is by far the leading manufacturer of hardware in cell phones, the only part not "manufactured" in China is the Android operating system. Until may 19th this was a equilibrium state, Google supplied the operating system and manufacturers in China supplied rest of the phone.
No need for messing up a working market...
Last sunday Google gave China the perfect setup for grabbing the last outpost, the operating system. As the largest player in China was banned they now have a perfect excuse launching their own software and eco-system around their phones creating complete freedom adding value to their products...or do you think Huawei will just roll over and die giving up their 141.7 billion usd export business ?
Simplified described the android opensource software project (AOSP) is published under Apache 2.0 license giving Google rights of publishing Android operating system based on the Linux kernel and opensource software. Google have to declare what changes and adaptations they done to the original opensource code for fitting into "Android".
Huawei have the exact same rights, Huawei is just as free using the same opensource Linux kernel and adapt to their operating system under exact same licenses, that is what opensource software is, the freedom to use opensource software. If the opensource licenses suddenly would exclude companies, countries or actors it is no longer open free software. Googles alternatives is to ramp up their development of their Android software as the "software battle" is initiated. Huawei has since 2012 developed their own operating system Hongmeng and noone should be surprised if Huaweis new operating system is launched at MWC19 in Shanghai 26-28 june. Probably we can expect a full functioning eco-system replacing Google play, Google maps and Google mail.
Google has few alternatives left, they can revert to closed source proprietary software but that would probably fail, if Google close their software upon claims of Huawei spying and Huawei keep to opensource software that battle is easily won. Restricting software by hardware design is easier for Huawei as Huawei manufactures their own chips such as Kirin CPU under the name of HiSilicon, Huawei will have lot easier excluding Android from their hardware than vice versa. Keep in mind third party apps is not locked to Android, a third party app will run in a fitting environment with no care to if it is running inside Hongmeng or Android. If Google offers app-designers to restrict their app business to only Android/Google playstore is an open question, will app-designer invest in developing apps and then limit the market for that app to only Google playstore / Android breaking the Apache and GNU license or will they offer the app on all available markets ?
Another uncertainty is if rest of cell phone manufacturers in China will follow the biggest player in their home country, will chinese manufacturers stick to Android after USA declared trade war, sanctions and limitations creating uncertainty around the heart of a cell phone, the operating system or will they follow their biggest players incentive in their own country in their own native language ?
For the Google exclusive apps there is allready viable replacements, for example APKmonkis a good alternative to Google play as apkmonk provides the complete installation package for download making it easier for the user resetting and cleaning the phone and then reinstalling the downloaded app apk packages that was removed during cleaning reinstating the phone to the exact same state as before resetting, another benefit is that you can deactivate google play store and play services to control data leakage from your phone. Google maps has the alternative openstreetmap.orgwhich may benefit with the good help of Huawei and there is a plethora of communication apps replacing gmail such as whatsapp, skype, viber, talky etc.
Final prediction :
- Why would Chinese actors say no to new bussiness opportunities in a overheated cellphone market ?
I estimate China will grab the complete cell phone eco-system giving control over all handsets from chip to screen including Apple products. Apple iphones is allready manufactured in China and as Apple made several implications in their software harming users of older iphone products these users will probably not give a second thought of ditching IOS if something better appears.
USA may have initiated a software battle they will never be able to stop, they seem to have played their aces a bit too quick in this poker game with China without realizing it can back fire badly and they might loose every cent.