In addition to that crippling body blow, Huawei is also forbidden from accessing the Google Play Store -- which is crucial outside of the Chinese market -- and can’t access Google apps like Gmail and Google Maps. “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” said a Google representative following the initial reports of the Huawei breakup. “For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.”
Not surprisingly, Huawei isn't taking this latest action from the U.S. government -- by way of Google -- lightly and has issued a response. "Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry,” said a Huawei spokesperson in a statement to CNBC.
“Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering those have been sold or still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”
If the revocation of Huawei's Android license is permanent, Huawei might not stand a chance of overtaking Samsung as the world's top smartphone maker. The company has been gobbling up market share at a whirlwind pace over the past few years and is currently sitting in second place behind Samsung. Analysts had predicted that Huawei could overtake Samsung in the global smartphone market by the end of 2019. Huawei has seen incredible growth in its home market of China and has also seen big gains in Europe. But without the mainline Android OS and the Google Play Store, Huawei will find itself in an untenable position.
Without access to Android Q and future major Android releases, Huawei would be forced to use the publicly available Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and build upon it as Amazon has done with FireOS. To that end, the company says that it has been developing its own smartphone and desktop operating systems as a contingency plan.