China could retaliate against America for its treatment of Huawei in a number of devastating ways – the most likely would be to targeting US companies that do business in the region, such as Apple. Greater China ranks third among the regions that generate the most revenue for the company, behind the US and Europe.
Additionally, the majority of Apple’s supply chain consists of Chinese companies that manufacture key components like sensors, OLED displays and other parts used in the iPhone.
If Apple can’t rely on Chinese manufacturers, it may be forced to move to suppliers in the US or elsewhere, which could result in an increase in iPhone prices.
Additionally, some Chinese consumers have already latched onto a growing ‘Boycott Apple’ movement in retaliation, which means Apple may suffer lasting damage to its brand in the region as a result of the Huawei ban.
Apple isn’t the only US firm that’s likely to feel an impact. Tech companies that rely on Huawei as a major will also be hurt.
‘The announced tariffs, if implemented, will be the gut punch for tech companies and its suppliers,’ said Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives.
Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm Broadcom and Micron provide components or services that are used in Huawei products, while Corning glass and Dolby speakers are used in Huawei phones.
What devices could be impacted by the decision?
Existing and new Huawei phones will be hurt the most when it comes to security updates.
These devices will no longer be able to access over-the-air security updates supplied by Android, as well as new software versions, like Google’s upcoming Android Q.
Google ships Android security updates to device owners automatically.
But Huawei devices will be forced to use the open source version of Android, which means the firm will learn of security updates the day they’re issued and, as a result, will have to ship them out to users manually.
This could leave Huawei devices vulnerable to attacks or other security flaws in the time that it takes to download new security updates.
Huawei would also be left out of future Android software updates. Since it’s using an open source version, it can’t legally market its phones as being Android devices.
The ban will most likely affect Huawei’s line of Mate laptops as well.
Huawei’s computer business relies heavily on chips made by Intel, Qualcomm and others, as well as Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
Since these companies aren’t doing business with Huawei, it’s not yet clear what this means for future laptops made by the firm.