Huawei phone owners rush to trade in handsets after Android ban despite Google assurances

Anthony Cuthbertson

Owners of Huawei phones and tablets are looking for ways to trade in their devices over uncertainties surrounding the future fate of the Chinese firm's smartphone business.

Online searches for 'Huawei trade in' quadrupled following Google's announcement that it had suspended Huawei's Android license, while online retailers reported an uptick in the number of people hoping to offload their handsets.

Google claims that the suspension will not affect people who currently use Huawei smartphones and tablets, at least in the short term.

Owners will still be able to download security and software updates, however future versions of the Android operating system will not be available.

Huawei has also offered assurances to its customers that their security will not be impacted, with a spokesperson telling The Independent: “We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally."

Despite this, the full impact of US government sanctions on the Chinese tech giant remain unclear.

Last week, the Trump administration placed Huawei on its 'Entity List', which bans US firms from doing business with them unless they have a special license.

This means other companies that Huawei relies on to build its phones and tablets, such as Microsoft, are also forced to cut ties.

The blacklisting stems from US fears that Huawei's products and technology services are being used by the Chinese state to spy on people and organisations, however no evidence of this happening has been publicly disclosed.

Search interest for 'Huawei trade in' surged on Google on Monday (Google Trends)

Without access to Google's software, there is a possibility that Huawei owners will not be able to receive updates, or even access, some of Google's most popular apps.

Beyond the Google Play app store, the Californian company also owns popular apps like Chrome, Gmail, Maps and YouTube.

As a result, some Huawei owners appear to be looking towards alternative manufacturers. Online trade-in platform MusicMagpie reported a 25 per cent increase in the number of Huawei exchanges following Google's announcement.

"This shows that Huawei users are preparing for a potential device change in the event of further restrictions being put in place against the Chinese phone manufacturer," a spokesperson for the company said.