The headline might sound clickbaity, but I assure you it isn’t.
Because no matter which angle you look at from, it seems like Google’s ban on Huawei devices sounds like doomsday for Huawei.
But after reading this, you might change your mind altogether.
The ban has not created a problem for Huawei; instead, it could have presented them with an opportunity that they could have waiting for years.
Now, do note that this is merely an opinion—but read on and you can decide on which side of the fence you lean on.
Ready to go down the rabbit hole?
Here’s why the Google ban might be a good thing for Huawei.
Before anything, you’d have to understand the basic concept of business.
Any sane business would not want to depend solely on a partner; if you’ve watched Shark Tank, you’d know that investors would never invest in a business that has 100% of its revenue from one client.
The logic is simple: if a business is held hostage by a partner / client, the partner / client can effectively control the business.
Back in the early days of phones, phones have their own OS: Nokia has Symbian, Blackberry has Blackberry OS and iPhone has iOS.
Each manufacturer owns its own OS, so there’s no risk of overdependence on any third party.
However, Android was released in HTC Dream in 2008 that kick-started the Android dominance: from then on, other phones started to use Android as their OS.
But why, you ask. Why not continue with their own OS, if there’s a risk of going with a third party?
This is when habits come into play.
Hooked with Habits
To understand this article, you’d have to understand the basic concept of habits. Initially, Android was a simple OS—people liked it, and since it’s open-source, manufacturers don’t think it’s a risk to use Android.
It can, after all, be recreated easily since the codes are open for all to use.
If need to, they can simply engage a development team to improve it.
But as time goes by, Android started Google Play Store, which is where they make all their money from. With that, the Google suites of apps become part of our everyday life: we can’t live a day without YouTube, Gmail, Google, Google Maps or any app related to Google.
That’s when we are hooked to these apps.
Now, even if there’s a better alternative to YouTube or Google Maps, our subconscious won’t allow us to change, because it takes effort to relearn something.
We human beings are wired to familiar things, and we would rather forgo better services or features than to learn new things. Just think of the elderly who refuse to use smartphone; I bet they know smartphones have features they love, but they still refuse to learn it.
But what has habits got to do with this?
Manufacturers Already Knew the Power of Android…But It’s Too Late
Four years ago, Samsung seemed to have realised the consequences of depending too much on Android; back then, they developed their own OS, the Tizen, and even threw USD$9 million for developers to create apps for the OS.
It didn’t exactly work out, because of the reasons mentioned above: changing people’s habits won’t work even if you’ve got billions of dollars.
The OS is now used primarily for their watches and TVs.
Jugding from this, you can tell how difficult it is to go back to the days when phones have their own OS.
Unless a crisis hit.
Winston Churchill: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”
When a crisis hit a company, you’d be able to tell if your boss is a leader or a loser.
A leader would embrace the crisis because every crisis provides an opportunity for a change in habits, be it in the consumers or in the employees. A loser would just…run away lah.
Examples of how leaders turned a crisis into habit-changing opportunities are plentiful: in fact, some leaders create the illusion of crisis to change habits.
Now, this Huawei incident is a perfect example.
Huawei Own OS
It’s hard to get people to use another OS and apps: Samsung has tried and it didn’t example pan out well.
But if you’ve a Huawei phone, and you’re forced to change it?
You’d have to do it.
Multiply it by billions and habits all over the world would be changed.
For example, if Huawei users are forced to use a new OS or they can’t use the phone anymore, they’d have to do it even if they don’t like it.
But within days, they’d realise the new OS and apps are way better, and new habits have been built.
No doubt there would be some people who would rather just sell their phone, but remember: the phone has to end up with someone else. With so many Huawei devices in consumers’ hands now, the habits die-die have to be developed, whether with the current owners or the new owners.
And Huawei would have done what Samsung didn’t manage to: create a new OS and get people to use it.
So you think Huawei is still sweating it out?
I think they’re cheering.
In fact, remember how Android makes money?
If Huawei runs its own OS and app store, that would make them even more profitable.
Problem? What problem?
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