|25 May, 2019

Du to continue servicing Huawei units; retailers uncertain

Sellers adopting wait-and-see approach; residents looking at alternatives

UAE telecom services provider du said it would continue to provide security updates and after-sale services to its Huawei customers, but retailers are uncertain about their future course of action while residents are also looking at alternatives.

"From our side, all customers who purchased Huawei devices from du are still under warranty. Additionally, they can visit the Huawei service centre for any handset support issues or queries. According to Huawei, the company will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet customers.

This covers those that have been sold and those that are still in stock globally," du said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

The US Commerce Department last week granted a 90-day licence for mobile phone firms and Internet broadband providers to work with Huawei to keep existing networks online and protect users from security risks. Google said those who own Huawei smartphones will not be affected for three months until August 19 when the temporarily licences granted to Huawei by the US will expire.

Tech firms including Google and SoftBank-owned chip designer ARM have said they will cease supplies and updates to Huawei.

Electronics retailers in the UAE refused to share comments on the impact on the local market as they were uncertain about the impact and the outcome of the crisis, hence adopting a wait-and-see approach.

Residents who own Huawei handsets, meanwhile, are in a dilemma. Tanvir Usman, a UAE resident for over a decade, said he has been using Huawei phone for the last couple of years and it has become one of his favourite brands.

"Huawei has captured the market share and now it strongly competes with Apple and Samsung. After the recent trade war issue between the US and China, I will be reluctant to buy Huawei products if they are not certified with Google. Though Huawei is said to be working on the alternatives, but it looks near to impossible to find a solution. Using a phone without Google or YouTube is like driving a car sans engine. If China wants to save Huawei, it should clear the air over the issue, so that people like me could know what alternative will Huawei offer to its customers if trade war continues," said Usman.

Najam Sheikh, a Sharjah resident, believes that the Google apps are pretty important and their usage is very common among residents. "We can use another handset but Gmail and other such apps are very important because all email correspondence and contacts are saved there. Apps are as much important as mobile phone brands these days," said Alvi.

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