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Huawei smartphone production lines grind to a halt

Huawei's problems appear to be terminal. (Source: Getty Images)
Huawei's problems appear to be terminal. (Source: Getty Images)
Embattled Chinese smartphone maker Huawei’s woes are no longer academic it seems. According to the South China Morning Post, Huawei smartphone assembler Foxconn has shut down several production lines that were making Huawei’s market leading smartphones.

If you were wondering whether Huawei could continue to make smartphones that are worthwhile without Google’s licensed version of Android onboard, it seems like it can’t – at least in the short term. Following its addition to the US Entity List black banning US companies from doing business with Huawei without special authorization, it appears that Chinese smartphone maker has indeed hit a brick wall. The South China Morning Post is reporting that manufacturing partner Foxconn has stopped several production lines that were producing Huawei’s smartphones.

"Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that assembles handsets for many phone brands including Apple and Xiaomi, has stopped several production lines for Huawei phones in recent days as the Shenzhen company reduced orders for new phones," according to the Morning Post’s sources. Although Huawei can run a version of Android derived from the Android Open Source Project (ASOP), it won’t be able to run any of Google’s apps or services including the Google Play Store. Even though Huawei devices sold before the ban are unaffected, it is a death blow for any new devices sold globally following the ban.

Even if Huawei ships smartphones with its homegrown HongMeng OS, inability to access the Google Play Store still makes the value proposition extremely limited regardless of how state-of-the-art Huawei’s tech might be. Further, even though Huawei has the capability to design and manufacture its own mobile SoCs including modems, the loss if its ARM license as well as the inability to license cellular patens from US companies like Qualcomm leave it in a precarious position to say the least. Prior to the US ban, Huawei held the number two position on global smartphone sales charts behind behind Samsung, but ahead of Apple.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-06- 2 (Update: 2019-06- 2)