Earlier this month, The Information reported that Huawei executives had severe concerns about the firm’s international business following its blacklisting by the U.S. government. Because the conglomerate lost access to Google Web Services, it can’t use the official version of Android on its smartphones. However, in a new interview, Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei downplayed the impact of losing Google’s digital infrastructure.
Though still interested in working with Google, the executive believes that his firm can succeed with its own mobile operating system (OS). Moreover, Zhengfei is confident that Huawei can displace Samsung as the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer.
Huawei has ‘Large Scale’ OS Plans
In May, the U.S. Department of Commerce forbade American firms from trading with Huawei for reasons related to national security. Consequently, the Chinese conglomerate lost access to both its U.S. software and component providers. In the aftermath of Washington’s sanctions, Zhengfei declared that his firm was facing a “live or die moment.”
He also predicted that being blacklisted by the United States would cost the firm $30 billion over two years.
Three months later, the executive has adopted a much more optimistic outlook. Zhengfei told CNN Business that it won’t be a problem for Huawei to become the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer. He explained that his corporation has a “large scale” plan to deal with being exiled from the Google ecosystem.
Indeed, the conglomerate pledged to spend $1.5 billion to build out the developer platform for its homegrown HarmonyOS. Moreover, Forbes notes that the Sino firm is taking steps to challenge both Apple and Google’s dominance in the mobile software market. In particular, the corporation is reportedly offering hosting fees that are half what its Silicon Valley rivals charge.
Nevertheless, Huawei will be facing an uphill battle trying to convince customers to embrace Harmony. Statista reports that 98.1 percent of the world uses either Android or iOS. That said, two factors might allow Huawei to achieve its goal of smartphone market supremacy.
American Components and 5G Deployment
Although the Commerce Department forced firms like Google and Intel to suspend their relationships Huawei, the company has still been able to source some American components. In June, Micron announced that it found a loophole in the trade ban which allows it to resume selling some of its semiconductors to the Sino corporation. Three months later, Qualcomm made a similar disclosure.
As such, Huawei will likely be able to outfit its forthcoming mobile devices with Qualcomm’s best-in-class modems and Micron’s renowned smartphone memory.
Consequently, the corporation won’t have to worry about finding another, potentially inferior, source for those key components. Accordingly, the company can maintain its reputation among international consumers for producing excellent, feature-rich smartphones.
Furthermore, Huawei has taken the lead in the global deployment of fifth-generation mobile networking technology. As such, the firm is ensuring that consumers in lucrative regions like Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East have access to 5G service. Therefore, Huawei might be able to draw some of the market share away from Apple as the Cupertino, California-based firm won’t release a 5G iPhone until late 2020.
It’s also worth noting that Samsung recently experienced a significant DRAM contamination problem that might delay its smartphone production.
As such, Huawei might be able to utilize 5G and its competitors’ production issues to bolster its market position.