Four million Britons with Huawei phones risk their devices becoming obsolete
A Huawei spokesperson said its older phones would still retain access to the Google Play Store. This should mean that in the short term, apps such as YouTube and Gmail will still work. However, it is understood the firm is still examining what the new ban means for other key updates.
New features from Google may not work on Huawei phones, and updates that Huawei creates could risk breaking apps developed by Google since the companies are legally blocked from cooperating.
Meanwhile, Huawei’s new P40 range has been slapped with a health warning on the websites of EE, Vodafone and Virgin to tell buyers they come without access to the most popular apps.
Returns of Huawei phones have spiked in Europe as customers pick up its latest models unaware their favourite apps will no longer work. Apps that are not supported on the most recent devices include YouTube and Gmail, while Huawei’s own AppGallery service does not include many popular brands such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Twitter.
Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, said returns of Huawei phones at one European network can be as high as 15pc. He said: “Customers will be disappointed when they get a new phone to find all the apps and services they expect are not there.”
Despite the expired licence, Huawei and Google still have some leeway. The latest US ruling says American companies can still provide critical security support.