Vodafone says buyers should be wary of Huawei phones as 'uncertainty' over Google software continues

Vodafone New Zealand says buyers should beware of buying Huawei phones as uncertainty continues following new US Government restrictions.

Source: 1 NEWS

The US Government last week announced a ban which in effect stopped Google from offering its products to Huawei.

This means the Android operating system - owned by Google and run on most Huawei phones - can no longer be deployed on future Huawei phones.

The ban came after US President Donald Trump failed to convince European allies to block the use of Huawei technology, in what is being called an escalating trade war with China.

Google confirmed yesterday that it is restricting Huawei's access to Android software, except versions which are publicly available.

A spokesperson for Vodafone New Zealand this morning said "there's still a lot of uncertainty about what is going on".

"At the moment, our understanding is existing handsets will still continue to have support and access to apps such as Google Maps.

"While we await further clarity on whether new handsets will be able to access Google apps and receive updates, we recommend customers factor this uncertainty into their purchase decision."

It's understood that Huawei has developed its own operating system, which it may deploy on future handsets if it is unable to use Android software.

Meanwhile, Huawei is telling its current and future New Zealand customers there is no need to panic.

"It doesn't affect what’s currently on the market here in New Zealand," Huawei NZ Deputy Managing Director Andrew Bowater told 1 NEWS.

"Obviously into the future once we ascertain the longer-term impacts of this then we’ll understand the next evolution of [Huawei] phones.

"Anything that's currently in the market or if you currently have a Huawei phone, it certainly won't be impacted by this," he said.

Mr Bowater told 1 NEWS the latest hurdles for Huawei have dented the brand.

"Our brand through this whole issue has taken damage throughout this, it's a shame that New Zealand consumers have now been caught up in the middle of this bigger game," he said.

"There really is no need for customers to panic or do anything different right now," Mr Bowater said.