Huawei in UK: The Essential Guide

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Huawei in the UK Logo

Huawei - the huge multinational telecommunications giant that has taken second place in the Smartphone market almost overnight. What gave such a meteoric rise to the company, and what challenges do they face in the future after the US blacklisting announcement? Selectra investigates Huawei’s UK presence, Huawei mobile phones and Huawei smartwatches, as well as discussing the relationship between Huawei and Google. Read on for everything you need to know about the Chinese manufacturer.

The History Of Huawei

Huawei operates its huge headquarters from Shenzhen, China and offers a wide range of Telecommunications products and services to over 170 countries worldwide. Until 2019, the company operated as a cooperative.

The name Huawei roughly translates to the words ‘Chinese achievement’. The first character of the word originally derived from the Chinese for’ ‘flower’ but now often refers to the word ‘China’ or ‘Chinese’, and the second character means achievement or action.

Huawei originally started out making phone switches and other telecommunications devices to upgrade the outdated Chinese telecoms infrastructure in the 1980s. It quickly expanded its business to a variety of telecommunications services, catering for the Chinese and international markets. By 2012, Huawei had become the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world.

Huawei in the UK

Huawei entered the UK market in 2005, initially by signing a Global Framework Agreement with Vodafone. Soon after, Huawei signed with British Telecom (BT) for the deployment of its multi-service access network (MSAN) and for the provision of transmission equipment for BT's 21st Century Network (21CN).

Huawei entered the UK mobile consumer market as early as 2013 but was a relatively unknown phone manufacturer at the time, with business operations more aligned with the supply of network technology and telecommunications infrastructure.

It’s worth noting that at this stage there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the future of Huawei in the UK. Questions surround the future of Huawei phones on the 5G network, for example - namely whether or not they will be permitted to operate on the UK 5G network. Huawei has already encountered trouble on the US mobile phone market.

President Trump's administration has accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets, fraud and violating US sanctions against Iran. Fears have also been expressed about the potential ability of the Chinese government to spy on the US using Huawei technology. The US has now banned Huawei from operating in the US in an attempt to protect national security and there are those who urge for the same type of precautions in the UK.

Move into the UK Mainstream

In 2013, only the savviest consumers were using eCommerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon to buy new Huawei smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches and other electronics that were imported from China.

Prices were cheap and mobile phones were loaded with features such as dual front and rear cameras, fingerprint sensors, and huge 4000mAh batteries. However, for the average consumer in the UK, importing phones from China and abroad seemed a risky proposition. Not to mention Huawei’s many competitors back in the UK being more convenient, including Samsung with its Galaxy range and Apple with its iPhones.

By the beginning of 2018, Huawei had more market share in mobile phone sales than some more well-known competitors, such as Sony, Motorola, HTC and Google. At the tail-end of the year, Huawei had sold over 200 million smartphones globally and this, along with well-executed marketing and advertising campaigns, has hugely boosted UK consumer trust and confidence.

Huawei has created many different types of phones, from more affordable devices like the Huawei Y5, Y6 and Y7, to a premium range of flagship smartphones like the Huawei P20 range, the Huawei Porsche Design Mate RS and the Huawei Mate 11.

Huawei Smartphone Features

So what do Huawei phones have to offer? The features are almost endless but we’ve put together some of the more noteworthy assets of Huaweis’ mobile phones so that you can better understand what they have to offer:

  • Huawei 980 Kirin chipset
  • Quad core/Octa core processors
  • Extended battery using 3000mAh batteries or higher
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Dual/Triple/quadruple high-resolution high megapixel rear camera (wide angle)
  • Dual front selfie camera supporting 3D depth-sensing
  • Super-high resolution OLED touchscreen display
  • IP68: Splash, water, and dust resistant
  • 8Gb RAM memory
  • Large internal storage
  • NM card: support up to 256 GB
  • Wireless charging and wire super charging
  • Dual SIM (also compatible Nano-SIM slot for extra storage)
  • Wifi, Bluetooth 5.0+, 2g, 3g and 4g connectivity

Huawei mobile phones in the UK

Huawei Phones have gained popularity as feature packed and low-cost alternatives to the top tier phone manufacturers. That being said, the ongoing trouble surrounding Huawei (like the US imposed sanctions) has fuelled uncertainty around whether or not new and existing Huawei phones will have the full range of features and app offerings in the future, or whether limits or bans will be placed upon them.

Huawei Smartwatches

Huawei smartwatches are now on the market and have been praised for a great battery life and solid design. The Huawei smartwatch has also been praised for its affordable price, especially in comparison with its competitors like the Apple watch. There are several different Huawei smartwatches on the market, including the Huawei bands like the Band 4 and Huawei watch GT.

Fun facts about HuaweiHow much do you know about Huawei? Here are some fun facts about the provider that you may not have heard before. Huawei has actually partnered with around 80% of the world’s major telecommunications companies, including most of the UK mobile carriers. Huawei is also largely an employee-owned company with employees having stock in the company as part of their employee ownership scheme.

Huawei and Android

Huawei has undoubtedly had some issues of late, and one of the most significant issues is the restriction of Android smartphone updates to Huawei devices. A majority of devices from Huawei have been confirmed to be receiving the most recent Android 10 software update, however there is no indication that an update will be available past Android 10 for any Huawei device.

Huawei and Google

Compare Mobile Phone Deals Here

If you’ve ever surfed the web before, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the search engine to end all search engines - Google. Google is responsible for more than just the famous search engine, with the Android phone software being one of their many endeavours. A recent US ban on Huawei may prohibit them from doing business with US companies like Google. In fact, Google has recently confirmed in late 2019 that it will not be supporting new Huawei releases with google apps such as Gmail, maps, and other popular google apps. Google Play will also not be operational on these new devices from late 2019 onwards.

Now that you’re fully informed on Huawei you can compare mobile phone deals to your heart's content below:


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