The bad news about Huawei’s smartphone operations doesn’t seem to stop too soon. The company still sells quite well, with the bulk of sales coming from China and managing during the pandemic to surpass even Samsung in terms of sales for the first time. However, Huawei phone users may run into a problem in the near future: a license that allowed the company to provide software updates to older models with Google Mobile Services has just expired.
The TGL license that allowed Huawei to provide software support has expired
Last year, after Donald Trump signed the executive order that put Huawei on the Entity List, American companies received a license called the Temporary General License, which allowed them to collaborate with Huawei for a certain period of time. This license was granted in order to provide software support and maintenance for equipment and phones already sold by Huawei prior to inclusion on the Entity list. However, it seems that from now on, that license is no longer valid.
What does this mean for users? Well, Huawei will no longer be able to deliver software and security updates for Android smartphones released before May 19, 2019. At least not updates that use Google’s applications, services, and security enhancements. However, there is still hope.
The TGL license was established to ensure that US telecom operators with Huawei equipment will be able to continue their operations without problems for the period after the restrictions. During the licensing period, the government had to create a subsidy program to help operators remove Huawei hardware and replace it with one from a company outside China. However, this subsidy has not yet been finalized.
What can happen next with Huawei phones
Thus, there is a possibility that this license will be quickly extended until a consensus is reached within the US government. If the Temporary General License is extended, Google will still be able to provide its sources, applications and services to Huawei for integration into the software packages for older phones that will receive updates.
If the TGL license is not extended, phones like the Huawei P30 Pro, Mate 20 Pro and other recent models, which have not been available on the market for two years, will be left without software updates and security updates from Google. Of course, Huawei could at any time offer an update on these models to Android EMUI 10.1 without Google services, which may still be up to date, but many users probably will not want to give up those applications.
Juana loves to cover the tech and gaming industry, she always stays on the first row of CES conference and reports live from there.