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posted by martyb on Saturday June 22 2019, @07:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the not-dead-yet dept.

Huawei Clarifies Android Update Situation, Commits to Android Q for Last 2 Generations

Huawei last night launched an information campaign about the status of software updates on existing devices in the face of the company's troubles with the U.S. Commerce Department.

The important news is that Huawei is confirming to and committing to continues[sic] security and Android platform updates, specifically the upcoming release of Android Q.

In general the news is no surprise as certification and approval happens several months before the actual software update. With Huawei receiving a reprieve on updates, it means in general business continues as usual for the moment being.

Huawei Announces Nova 5 & Nova Pro in China: Introduces New Kirin 810 Chipset

Today Huawei announced the brand new Nova 5 series of smartphones. The company released the new Nova 5, Nova 5 Pro and Nova 5i in China with availability later this month. The new Nova 5 and 5 Pro are particularly interesting because they now represent Huawei's lowest priced devices with OLED displays, also featuring high-end cameras and SoC options.

The new Nova 5 and Nova 5 Pro are interesting phones because they are essentially the same device, with the peculiarity of having different SoC options: The Nova 5 in particular is the first phone to now introduce the new Kirin 810 chipset. The new chip features a combination of 2x Cortex A76 CPUs at up to 2.23GHz and 6x Cortex A55's at 1.88GHz. In terms of GPU, Huawei has opted for a Mali-G52MP6 running at 820MHz. It looks like the Kirin 810 is extremely well positioned to compete against Qualcomm's Snapdragon 730 SoC which was announced just back in April.

Previously: Huawei Working on its Own OS to Prepare for "Worst-Case Scenario" of Being Deprived of Android
Google Pulls Huawei's Android License
The Huawei Disaster Reveals Google's Iron Grip On Android
Huawei Calls on U.S. to Adjust its Approach to Tackle Cybersecurity Effectively
Google Doesn't Want Huawei Ban Because It Would Result in an Android Competitor


Original Submission

Related Stories

Huawei Working on its Own OS to Prepare for "Worst-Case Scenario" of Being Deprived of Android 19 comments

Huawei may have a backup OS in case it has to drop Android

It'd be hard to blame Huawei executives if they're feeling very nervous lately. The US has created havoc for ZTE by renewing an export ban over trade violations, potentially depriving it of its Android license and leaving it without a platform. How would Huawei avoid a similar fate? Simple: it would use its own operating system instead. South China Morning Post sources have claimed that Huawei has been developing its own mobile operating system (there are reportedly tablet and PC equivalents) ever since it and ZTE faced an American investigation in 2012. It's considered an investment for "worst-case scenarios," the insiders said.

The company hasn't released this OS because it isn't up to Android's level of quality and app support, the sources added.

Huawei hasn't confirmed or denied the software's existence, saying only that it "has no plans" to launch an in-house OS in the "foreseeable future" -- if there is one, there's no rush to use it. There was a purported meeting leak in 2012 that referenced a new platform.

See also: ZTE and the Unknown Unknowns

Related: U.S. Intelligence Agency Heads Warn Against Using Huawei and ZTE Products
Huawei CEO Still Committed to the U.S. Market


Original Submission

Google Pulls Huawei’s Android License 43 comments

The Verge has a story about the latest in the US government's war against Huawei:

Following the US crackdown on Chinese technology companies, Google has cut off Huawei’s Android license, dealing a huge blow to the besieged phonemaker. Reuters first reported the news, and The Verge subsequently confirmed Google’s suspension of business with Huawei with a source familiar with the matter.

Reached for comment, a Google spokesperson said only “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications.” The order, in this case, appears to be the US Commerce Department’s recent decision to place Huawei on the “Entity List,” which as Reuters reports is a list of companies that are unable to buy technology from US companies without government approval.

Speaking to Reuters, a Google spokesperson confirmed that “Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.” So while existing Huawei phones around the world won’t be immediately impacted by the decision, the future of updates for those phones as well as any new phones Huawei would produce remains in question.

Huawei is now restricted to using the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), cutting the company off from critical Google apps and services that consumers outside of China expect on Android devices. That also means Huawei will only be able to push security updates for Android once they’re made available in AOSP, assuming the company uses its own update system. It’s not clear yet how this will affect the full range of Android integrations that Huawei depends on, but we will update this story when we receive additional clarification about the impacts of Google’s decision.


Original Submission

The Huawei Disaster Reveals Google’s Iron Grip On Android 17 comments

Most Android manufacturers — including Huawei — are what’s known as Google hardware partners. This relationship lets them build their phones around a collection of Google products, from apps like Google Maps and Assistant, to under-the-hood tools like location services or push notifications. While Google gives off the impression that Android is open and available to everyone, these services represent a quiet control that the company doesn’t often enforce over its hardware partners — though, as it has now proven, it certainly can.

With the recent order, the U.S. government forced Google’s hand. The U.S. Department of Commerce put Huawei on the “Entity List,” which blocks it from buying technology from U.S. companies without government approval. Huawei and Google now have three months to send updates to existing users. For new phones, Huawei may be able to use the open-source version of Android, but it can’t be a Google partner.

The distinction between using Android and being a Google partner seems messy from the outside, but “Android” technically refers to the core operating system that covers basic things like making phone calls or using the camera. The freely available version of Android is called the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and a company doesn’t have to be a partner to use it.

Politics: Huawei Calls on U.S. to Adjust its Approach to Tackle Cybersecurity Effectively 22 comments

Chinese tech giant Huawei has filed a motion in a US court challenging the constitutionality of a law that limits its sales of telecoms equipment, the latest action in an ongoing clash with Washington.

Huawei's chief legal officer Song Liuping said the firm had filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to rule on whether it is constitutional for the US to implement a military spending provision that bars the government and its contractors from using its equipment.

Mr Song said the "state-sanctioned campaign" against the company will not improve cybersecurity.

"Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company," he said. "This is not normal."

Source: https://techerati.com/news-hub/huawei-takes-us-to-court-over-security-law/

Additional Coverage:

[Ed Note: full disclosure - The submitter is also the author of the linked news story and a junior editor at the techerati.com web site]


Original Submission

Google Doesn't Want Huawei Ban Because It Would Result in an Android Competitor 11 comments

Report: Google argues the Huawei ban would hurt its Android monopoly

The Trump administration would probably describe its Huawei export ban as a move that improves national security by keeping China's pet telecom company out of the US market. According to a report from The Financial Times, Google's recent discussions with the US government actually argue that the Huawei ban is bad for national security. Google is reportedly asking for an exemption from the export ban.

The argument, reportedly, is that Huawei is currently dependent on Google for its Android smartphone software, and that dependence is a good thing for the US. The Financial Times quotes "one person with knowledge of the conversations" as saying, "Google has been arguing that by stopping it from dealing with Huawei, the US risks creating two kinds of Android operating system: the genuine version and a hybrid one. The hybrid one is likely to have more bugs in it than the Google one, and so could put Huawei phones more at risk of being hacked, not least by China."

[...] Google's control over the Android ecosystem—even when devices don't use the Google apps—means there is still some level of security and updateability going into these devices. Google's first argument in that Financial Times report is that more secure devices are better for national security.

The second argument in the above quote is that a ban would "create two kinds of Android" and hurt Google's monopoly over Android. If you're a smartphone manufacturer looking for a smartphone OS, Android is the only game in town. The latest worldwide OS market share numbers from the IDC show an 86.6/13.3 percent share between Android and iOS, respectively, with "Other" clocking in at 0.0 percent market share. Taken as a whole, the US has a smartphone OS monopoly.

More secure devices (used by foreign targets for NSA hacking) are better for national security? Nice try, Google.

Previously: Huawei Working on its Own OS to Prepare for "Worst-Case Scenario" of Being Deprived of Android
Huawei Hysteria is a False Alarm, Culture Secretary Tells MPs
Google Pulls Huawei's Android License
The Huawei Disaster Reveals Google's Iron Grip On Android
Huawei Calls on U.S. to Adjust its Approach to Tackle Cybersecurity Effectively


Original Submission

Trump Administration Will Loosen Restrictions Against Huawei 32 comments

Trump reversed course on Huawei. What happens now?

Six weeks after Huawei was blacklisted by the US government, President Donald Trump had what the Chinese telecom firm described as a "U-turn." Trump said Saturday that "US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei," allowing the transactions won't present a "great, national emergency problem."

Trump's comments at the G20 in Japan came after a widely anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jingping. The two sides met to discuss the impasse in the trade dispute, and Huawei, one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world, has become a flash point in the battle.

In May, the US Commerce Department banned sales of American-made goods to Huawei without first obtaining a license. US officials have accused the company of working to undermine US national security and foreign policy interests. Trump said Huawei was still part of the ongoing trade discussions between Washington and Beijing, but for now, he would move to resume allowing US companies to sell parts to the Chinese firm.

Also at Android Authority and Business Insider:

President Trump has said US firms can continue selling to Huawei, apparently contradicting a Commerce Department trade blacklist on the Chinese tech firm.

See also: A China-U.S. Trade Truce Could Enshrine a Global Economic Shift

Previously: New Law Bans U.S. Government from Buying Equipment from Chinese Telecom Giants ZTE and Huawei
Huawei Working on its Own OS to Prepare for "Worst-Case Scenario" of Being Deprived of Android
Google Pulls Huawei's Android License
The Huawei Disaster Reveals Google's Iron Grip On Android
Huawei Calls on U.S. to Adjust its Approach to Tackle Cybersecurity Effectively
Google Doesn't Want Huawei Ban Because It Would Result in an Android Competitor
Huawei Soldiers on, Announces Nova 5 and Kirin 810

Related: U.S. Reaches Deal to Keep China's ZTE in Business: Congressional Aide
US Hits China's ZTE with $1 Billion Penalty


Original Submission

Huawei Sues FCC to Stop Ban on Huawei Gear in US-Funded Networks 6 comments

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/12/huawei-sues-fcc-to-stop-ban-on-huawei-gear-in-us-funded-

Huawei has sued the Federal Communications Commission over the agency's order that bans Huawei equipment in certain government-funded telecom projects.

[...] The FCC voted unanimously on November 22 to ban Huawei and ZTE equipment in projects paid for by the commission's Universal Service Fund (USF). The order will affect many small telecom providers that rely on the companies' network gear.

[...] "The US government has never presented real evidence to show that Huawei is a national security threat," Song said. "That's because this evidence does not exist. When pushed for facts, they respond that 'disclosing evidence might also undermine US national security.' This is complete nonsense."

[...] "We've built networks in places where other vendors would not go. They were too remote, or the terrain was difficult, or there just wasn't a big enough population," he said. "In the US, we sell equipment to 40 small wireless and wireline operators. They connect schools, hospitals, farms, homes, community colleges, and emergency services."

Hoftstra University law professor Julian Ku said that "even a small [Huawei] victory in the case, one that makes the FCC go and start the process over again, would be a huge victory for them," according to The New York Times. But it may be a difficult case for Huawei to win because US courts usually give federal agencies "a tremendous amount of deference," Ku said.

Previously:


Original Submission

Huawei to Cease Production of Kirin Smartphone SoCs Due to U.S. Sanctions 23 comments

Huawei to stop making flagship chipsets as U.S. pressure bites, Chinese media say:

Huawei Technologies Co will stop making its flagship Kirin chipsets next month, financial magazine Caixin said on Saturday, as the impact of U.S. pressure on the Chinese tech giant grows.

U.S. pressure on Huawei's suppliers has made it impossible for the company's HiSilicon chip division to keep making the chipsets, key components for mobile phone, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business Unit was quoted as saying at the launch of the company's new Mate 40 handset.

[...] "From Sept. 15 onward, our flagship Kirin processors cannot be produced," Yu said, according to Caixin. "Our AI-powered chips also cannot be processed. This is a huge loss for us."

Huawei's HiSilicon division relies on software from U.S. companies such as Cadence Design Systems Inc or Synopsys Inc to design its chips and it outsources the production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), which uses equipment from U.S. companies.

Also at PhoneArena.

Previously: Arrest of Huawei Executive Causing Discontent Among Chinese Elites
Huawei Soldiers on, Announces Nova 5 and Kirin 810
U.S. Attempting to Restrict TSMC Sales to Huawei
TSMC Dumps Huawei
Huawei on List of 20 Chinese Companies that Pentagon Says are Controlled by People's Liberation Army


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @07:08PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @07:08PM (#858907)

    Just give me the option to install any OS I want and I'll buy one.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @07:30PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @07:30PM (#858910)

      With the exception of a few models and vendors (unfortunately Huawei included), most phones come with open / unlockable boot loaders letting you install whatever you'd like.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @10:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @10:34PM (#858948)

        Oh. Samsung? Locked down hard in most markets. And most phones comes pre-loaded with unremovable apps like Facebook.... :(
        We really DO need freedom of choice in this area. Android itself is also 100% Google, same problems as are hitting headlines about Chrome, possibly worse.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 23 2019, @12:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 23 2019, @12:05PM (#859053)

      If you're worried about security and safety (a possibility, from the 'install any OS' part), the OS won't necessarily help.

      It's the *radio* firmware that one also needs to worry about. It's always on, in tandem with the OS, silently running and handling all communication with the tower. It can have a back door, it can silently scan your RAM, including RAM being used by the OS itself. It can communicate without the OS knowing it. Hell, the OS can even think the radio is off (airplane mode), yet the radio firmware can still be on -- after all, it's the one telling the OS that it's OFF.

      There are a load of people out there watching the OS, and a load of people out there watching wifi and seeing what traffic is happening, but there are very, very few people out there watching traffic over 4G/etc, using interceptors. EG, sitting between the phone, and the cell tower.

      So, there is never a way to trust a phone from a shady place. Again, if they was your concern.

      And the sad part here is, I've seen loads of updates for the OS, on all phones/platforms, but only rarely radio updates.

      Yet in places of the world where the state is highly aggressive and has no oversight into matters like this, EG the state OWNs telecommunications infrastructure, a radio firmware is highly susceptible to hacking. And once hacked... well again, no OS update will help either.

      Just imagine, you're in some 3rd world nation, and all those whatsapp texts or whatever you think are secure, are still intercepted by the radio firmware... snagged right from ram as you type.

      Not to mention, the radio typically has full access to all the hardware. Like mics, cameras, etc.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:06PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:06PM (#858916)

    Huawei wants to install "security updates" while knowing the phones that receive it will be the last phones they will ever have sold into the US? Would you trust this software from a vendor banned from the US for spying on its customers?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:09PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:09PM (#858917)

      You may want to work on your grammer.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:35PM (#858925)

        FTFY...
        You may want to work on you grammar.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:36PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:36PM (#858926)

      I trust everyone who was bullied, banned, subjected to sanctions, or directly attacked by US. By principle of past experience.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Mer on Saturday June 22 2019, @09:07PM

      by Mer (8009) on Saturday June 22 2019, @09:07PM (#858934)

      It's a smartphone. If the parent company's not spying on you by default something is very wrong.
      Huawei isn't suddenly free of spying because they got banned but the competitors are now less likeable because of the hypocrisy.

      --
      Shut up!, he explained.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 23 2019, @07:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 23 2019, @07:41PM (#859128)

      Yes

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:26PM (6 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:26PM (#858920) Journal

    Huawei Has Largest 5G Patent Portfolio – Starting to Flex IPR Muscle [wccftech.com]

    In an interesting development in the US – China trade war this week, it emerged that Huawei is asking Verizon for $1 billion for using its 5G patents. While this would normally just be a corporate discussion and potential for lawsuits, the implications are of course broader than for example the Apple vs. Qualcomm battle given the recent actions the US government has taken in putting Huawei on the entity list and the impending block on it being allowed to buy US technology.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:33PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:33PM (#858923)

      Which is why we need to skip straight to 6G as the President suggested.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:39PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:39PM (#858928)

        Why not 7G? It's been already part of Mars after all, you know...

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:50PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday June 22 2019, @08:50PM (#858931) Journal

          Speaking of which, I don't think IPv6 has enough addresses for the galactic empire.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @10:37PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @10:37PM (#858949)

            Just leave this insufficient technology lying around near the Big Auto guys. Result: IP V12 Turbo. Efficient, no. Good sounding for marketing-speak, yes.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 23 2019, @04:07AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 23 2019, @04:07AM (#859004)

          Why not 7G?

          My Gs go up to 11. Do yours?

          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Sunday June 23 2019, @05:37AM

            by bob_super (1357) on Sunday June 23 2019, @05:37AM (#859021)

            She says you don't need 11 to get to the G that matters.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @09:40PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @09:40PM (#858937)

    USA - 400 million
    EU - 500 million

    and Huawei smile, because:
    China - 1.2 billion
    India - 1.2 billion
    Africa - 1 billion

    Who cares if the small, increasingly irrelevant markets "boycott" the brand?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @09:56PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @09:56PM (#858941)

      Poor people outnumber rich people in the most populous countries.
      Businesses target disposable income, not bodies.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @10:30PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @10:30PM (#858947)

        So what is better? Sell 10 million $100 phones into an economy that is "poor" but will be boosted by the tech to new levels, OR, sell 1 million $1000 phones into a saturated, mature, tech-savvy market. Think long term, not next election.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @10:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22 2019, @10:58PM (#858954)

          Think long term, not next election.

          He is american. Can not think like chinese.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Saturday June 22 2019, @11:03PM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday June 22 2019, @11:03PM (#858957) Journal

        "Poor" people are the growth market. The developed countries have been saturated by smartphones.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
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