Vodafone UK said on Wednesday it had dropped a Huawei 5G smartphone from pre-orders for its new service starting in July, because of uncertainty about long-term support and services for the device.
“We are pausing pre-orders for the Huawei Mate 20X (5G) in the UK,” a spokesman said. “This is a temporary measure while uncertainty exists regarding new Huawei 5G devices. We will keep this situation under review.”
Huawei’s smartphone plans were imperilled by US President Donald Trump’s decision to add the Chinese company to a trading blacklist called the “entity list”. American companies cannot provide technology to organisations named in the list without gaining the US government’s permission.
Google barred Huawei from some updates to the Android operating system, dealing a major blow to the world’s second-largest smartphone seller.
Soon after Google, American hardware manufacturers including Qualcomm and Xilinx cut off supplies to Chinese phone maker. Software giant Microsoft removed Huawei from its online store.
Even British chip designer ARM has told its staff it must suspend business with Huawei, according to a BBC report. A break with ARM would make it difficult for Huawei to develop future generations of its own Kirin processors.
Trump’s decision also had a major impact on the stock market as well as prices of aluminium and other metals. Stocks of Qualcomm, Micron Technology and Broadcom Inc, fell between 3% and 5% on Monday, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index slid 2.9% to its lowest level in over two months.
After Huawei, the US administration is now considering imposing sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision. Hikvision, with a market value of more than $37 billion, calls itself the world’s largest video surveillance gear maker. Its products are used extensively in public places in China, from Beijing to Xinjiang.
Experts believe Huawei has the technological resources to bounce back. It could focus on a new operating system (OS). Reports say it has a new OS ready as an alternative.
With inputs from Reuters.