Shoppers turning their backs on Huawei following Google ban

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Saturday, 25 May 2019, 2:59PM
A Huawei phone running Google's Android software. Photo / Getty Images
A Huawei phone running Google's Android software. Photo / Getty Images

Shoppers both here and abroad are turning their backs on Huawei's handsets in the wake of Google suspending its hardware and software business with the Chinese mobile giant.

Huawei's handset popularity has plummeted by more than 20 per cent, according to figures from price and product comparison site PriceSpy.

On Monday, Google confirmed it was complying with a ban put in place by the Trump administration barring US companies from supplying technology to Huawei.

Google makes the Android software that runs Huawei phones, and runs the Play Store used to deliver many of their apps.

According to PriceSpy, in the days following Google's ban (20th-24th May) Huawei's handset popularity fell 28 per cent in New Zealand from where it was between the 13th-17th May, and its global average was down 26 per cent.

Huawei's handset popularity has particularly taken a hammering in Europe where it saw drops of 46 per cent in the United Kingdom, 45 per cent in France and 40 per cent in Ireland over the last four days.

"It's not just network providers and tech giants who are turning their backs on Huawei," Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett at PriceSpy said.

"It remains to be seen if this will lead to a long term knock on effect for Huawei but early indicators show that the major manufacturer may struggle to recover outside of China."

Market research firm Strategy Analytics has predicted Huawei will see its global shipments decrease by 24 per cent this year and a further 23 per cent in 2020.

Huawei's popularity demise among customers has had a positive impact on its rival handset makers who saw big increases in popularity over the last four days.

Samsung has risen 50 per cent in popularity globally, and a 14 per cent in New Zealand, while Apple had 20 per cent and 7 per cent increases respectively, according to PriceSpy.

"Samsung seems to be benefitting the most from Huawei's loss, with 24 per cent more clicks on its products in New Zealand," Matinvesi-Bassett said.

Those who own Huawei handsets in New Zealand have been urged by Huawei NZ deputy chief executive Andrew Bowater not to return them.

"New Zealanders can have every confidence that their Huawei phones still work with Google Play, and they will continue to receive security and Android updates," Bowater told the Herald.

Google has said it will continue to support existing Huawei devices, however, it seems unlikely future Huawei phones will be certified for the Google Play store, and that while they could have a bare-bones version of Android, they could miss out on key features like Google Maps, cloud storage with Google Drive, YouTube, Google Photos and Google Duo video calls.

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