It was pretty funny to see people panic-selling their Huawei phones last week, after the Chinese phone maker was put on a blacklist that essentially banned it from buying American chips and software.
Huawei owners were reportedly casting off their phones at fire sales online, while shops were said to have stopped taking in used Huawei models as trade-ins.
Why the rush? The phones in your hands now, and yes, even those that are in the shops, will continue to work as promised. That includes the hardware as well as the Android software that so many are concerned with.
To understand things better, let’s consider the most important part of the ban against Huawei – the latest move in the Trump administration’s trade war with China does not affect existing products from the Chinese company.
And you will still be able to use your Android apps, from Gmail to Instagram, so there shouldn’t be a worry that your phone will suddenly stop working.
What about future versions of Android? Well, Huawei has just been reinstated on the Android Q beta programme in the past few days, so it is still working with Google for future releases of Android.
This is not to say that Huawei isn’t facing a crisis, because as long as the trade war between the two biggest economies drags on, it will also have to find a way to buy processors – Arm is still not selling to Huawei – and resolve the uncertainty in future products.
However, there remains a chance that a deal might be struck between the governments that will enable Huawei to continue as before. Nobody knows what will happen next, except perhaps Donald Trump or Xi Jinping.
Will Huawei really come up with its own operating system? Or will a deal, like the one that got fellow Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE back on track after a ban, allow Huawei to keep using Android and Arm-based chips in future? Hard to say.
What’s clear is that right now, there is no reason to rush out to sell your existing Huawei phones. Neither is there one to avoid buying a Huawei phone at the stores.
The worst thing that can happen, and this is unlikely given the developments with the Android Q beta, is that your phone won’t get updated with future Android operating systems.
For many users, that is not a deal breaker. As long as they get security updates from either Huawei or Google, they are good to go with the current Android software.
Truth be told, the ban has dealt a huge blow for Huawei. Its ambition to overtake Samsung to become the top phone maker may have to be abandoned for now.
However, for folks who already own the P30 Pro or other Huawei phones, there should be no worry that your devices should continue working. You really should not be junking them at cut-price deals.
On the contrary, if there’s a good deal from the neighbourhood phone retailer or someone on Carousell trying to get rid of their Huawei phone, grab it.