Where are we with Android now?

Brown’s Bytes – Where Are We With Android Now?

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

24th May 2019

First off, an apology to regular readers wanting to hear more about my move from Windows to Apple Mac, as this week I thought it was necessary to comment a bit on the pretty shocking news that Huawei are being locked out of the Google Android Ecosystem. We’ll get back to Apple another week I promise…

I covered the rise of Huawei previously, but in summary, the point I was making was that despite being rather unknown in the Western World, Huawei were already the second largest Mobile Handset Manufacturer globally.

Since that post, there has been a steady stream of negative news stories about Huawei and the threat they potentially pose, particularly in relation to the deployment of 5G infrastructure.

I really don’t intend to get bogged down in the politics of all that, but we’re now at a fascinating point. That being…

Google announced it would stop providing the world’s second largest handset manufacturer with Android.

Think about it – this is an immense loss for both of them. Android has long been criticised (including by me), for the fragmentation of the way it’s brought to market.

Just as Google were making steps to bring things back together (or at least improving the situation), with things like Android One and Android Enterprise Recommended, we now have a scenario where Huawei may leave Google’s world altogether.

If this really happens Huawei really face two options:

  1. Stop making phones
  2. Fork Android and create their own OS and ecosystem (like Amazon have tried on FireOS devices with limited success).

Both pretty big changes in the market by a major player, and it will be fascinating to see how they play out if they come to pass.

Now, Enterprise over here hasn’t really embraced Huawei devices yet, so arguably this is largely not of much relevance, but the potential lessons from this certainly need to be.

In Enterprise, we now need to consider new risks:

– Will the manufacturer continue to be a part of Google Android?
– Will the US vs China situation have wider fallout into areas that do impact Enterprise?

Admins with Apple devices might be feeling smug at this point, but don’t forget that iPhones are made in China too (in fact most Tech is, let’s face it) and already there are rumblings about the price of iPhones having to go up as a result of tariffs (or Apple swallowing decreased margins).

Already there has been a grace period announced on the US export restrictions that triggered Google’s announcement, but who knows what the events of this week will now trigger…as an Admin, it’s worth keeping an eye on this as it will be fascinating to see what comes next.

Heavy stuff – back to the Mac next week!

In the meantime, if you need any assistance with device procurement or strategy then please do get in touch.