[UPDATE: Updates Will Continue] Google Can No Longer Provide Support For Older Huawei Smartphones

Huawei Logo Red AH Resized 2020

UPDATE: Huawei confirmed that the device will keep getting updates as planned, despite the fact its license expired.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: The US government has earlier issued a temporary general license (TGL) to Huawei for working with Google. It made it possible for the Google-certified Huawei smartphones to receive updates for the Google apps and services. As the TGL expired, it completely cuts the ties between Huawei and Google.

While the license was renewed a few times in the last one year, there is no update from the US Commerce Department about renewing it one more time. However, there is still a chance for Huawei to get the TGL renewed one more time.


Huawei’s temporary general license expired

In May 2019, the US government placed Huawei on its Entity List, which bans American firms from working with the Chinese telecommunications giant. With the TGL, Huawei was able to provide Android security patch updates for the smartphones launched before May 2019.

Google also certifies the new software updates releasing for all Android smartphones. Since the license expired, the future updates rolling out for the older Huawei and Honor smartphones might not include Google apps.

Nevertheless, Huawei has already replaced Google Mobile Services (GMS) with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) in its newly launched smartphones. Even the older Google-certified Huawei smartphones could miss out on the GMS support with a new software update.


This also includes the SafetyNet Attestation API, which makes the smartphones compatible with banking and payment related apps. None of this makes any difference in its home country China. However, Huawei users in other markets will be seeing facing compatibility issues.

Huawei has to delay Android security patch updates

Speaking of the monthly Android security patch updates, Huawei might still be able to provide them even with an expired license. According to XDA Developers, Huawei can provide these updates without relying on Google. To provide security patch update, the company has to wait longer than others.

Huawei might completely ditch GMS for its own HMS, which will also increase the user base for its own services. The company has already built the App Gallery as an alternative to Google’s Play Store. While it lacks all the apps, Huawei was successful in roping several major developers.


Even with all these efforts, Huawei smartphones will still be inferior to other Android smartphones. Especially outside of China, people depend on Google services for the majority of smartphone usage. In the next few weeks, TSMC will also stop working with Huawei for producing Kirin chipsets.