I know most people reading this will be from the good ole' U.S.A. but not everyone. If that sounds like you, let me say I'm sorry stupid laws have robbed you of what looks like the best Android phone you can buy right now that's missing everything which makes Android great. I'm speaking about the Huawei P40 Pro, of course.
I'm not going to rehash it again, but the tl;dr in case you need it is that Huawei is on the U.S. Entity list which means other companies that wish to do business inside the U.S. cannot do business with Huawei unless they are granted a waiver. That means Google can't provide things like Google Play or Gmail on top of the free open source parts of Android.
As you can expect, this has hurt Huawei's sales in the west tremendously. Huawei was never a big player in North America, but in places like the U.K or Germany, the company moves a lot of phones. Or at least it used to. It turns out that people don't care for Android phones without Google's services and Huawei's attempt isn't winning hearts and minds. Or phone sales.
That's bad news for Huawei, but it's like a gift to companies like Oppo and Xiaomi, who are also Chinese brands but not involved in Patriot Games like Huawei is at the moment. The two companies also make some really great phones with the latest specs, extras like pop-out cameras and bezel-less displays, and great prices considering the hardware you're holding. Just like Huawei does. The difference is that Oppo and Xiaomi have the Play Store and all the services that go along with it.
This situation kind of sucks for consumers like us, and we're who I really care about. I feel bad for Huawei's situation, and I'm excited to see where Oppo and Xiaomi go with the new revenue, but what I really want is for people to be able to buy whatever phone they like. The P40 Pro looks incredible; too bad it's a non-starter for almost everyone outside of China.
The P40 Pro looks like the best phone for China. Elsewhere, not so much.
Things reach a little deeper, too. There are three companies that make processors used in phones right now: Samsung, Huawei, and Qualcomm. Samsung is cutting back and isn't going to be building its own custom designs any longer. Huawei may be forced to halt production because of U.S. law. That leaves one company: Qualcomm. Qualcomm having any sort of monopoly is really bad based on its own history. That's another article for another time, though.
I'm glad we still have options and that this might allow Oppo or Xiaomi the confidence to expand into North America. I just wish it wasn't being done at the cost of one of the most innovative manufacturers on the planet. Good luck, Huawei. You're going to be needing it.
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