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(Pocket-lint) - A temporary license granted to Huawei in the US, which allowed it to continue receiving software updates and patches for existing phones, has now expired. 

This particular license wasn't just about ensuring you could continue getting software updates on your phone, but it was open enough that it includes that.

Part of its reason for existence was to enable rural network operators in the US to continue receiving updates for the Huawei hardware built into its cell towers. However, for most consumers, it's the effects on the smartphone side of things that will be most keenly felt. 

When a trade ban on Huawei was first announced, a temporary license was put in place that would enable Huawei to continue receiving updates from Google to roll out to any phones already launched before May 2019. 

Since then, Huawei has been able to update those phones with any major or minor update and patch delivered by Google. Now, it will no longer be able to do so. 

Speaking to The Washington Post, Google said it was this temporary license which allowed it to continue to deliver updates to Huawei, suggesting that with it now expired (since Thursday, 13 August), it won't be able to continue. 

Since the ban in May last year Huawei has been pushing hard to build up its own ecosystem for smartphones and connected devices. 

Those new smartphones run its own software built on top of an open-source version of Android, and it's an effort that has seen it attempt to attract developers to its own App Gallery in order to plug that gap left by not having any Google apps on its phones. 

The chances are then, if you have a Google Play-equipped Huawei phone, that you'll no longer receive any security patches or updates unless they're delayed updates of patches and updates that are already available. 

We reached out to Huawei to understand how this specifically impacts smartphone customers going forward, but Huawei declined to comment on the matter. 

Despite no official comment being forthcoming, Huawei has responded to a customer on Twitter concerned about losing future updates stating that there will be "no impact on existing devices". 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 17 August 2020.
  • Source: License allowing some trade with Huawei expires, spelling possible trouble for rural telecom companies and Huawei cell phone users - washingtonpost.com
Sections Google Huawei