Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, June 17, 2019!

1. Huawei predicting major losses, but it’s not all bad

We all know Huawei is going through a rough patch but we’re still learning exactly how rough, and what it means for the company’s future. The latest speculation from Bloomberg suggests Huawei’s international phone sales outlook is pretty bad, but Reuters has heard some more positive murmurings.

The Huawei P30 Pro and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Android Authority

  • Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, says Huawei is anticipating a 40 percent to 60 percent drop in international smartphone shipments for 2019.
  • The recent U.S. restrictions placed on the company would be to blame.
  • These restrictions have hobbled Huawei’s ability to conduct business with U.S. companies, and have contributed to the impending removal of its Android license.
  • Huawei is estimated to have shipped just over 200 million phones in 2018, and about half of them outside of its home nation China. The potential 40 to 60 percent drop internationally would represent around 40 to 60 million Huawei smartphones.
  • Further, Bloomberg says the trade ban may lead to Huawei abandoning its Honor 20 line in Europe.
  • The Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro were only recently launched and are set to go on sale in parts of Europe from June 21. If the phones don’t sell well, Huawei may stop shipping them, according to Bloomberg.
  • Huawei has already been forced to cancel a MateBook laptop launch due to the ban.
  • An Honor spokesperson told us that U.K. sales of the already available Honor 20 Lite haven’t been negatively impacted by the situation, and that the Honor 20 is still set to be released there on Friday.
  • And just before sending this newsletter out, Bloomberg arrived with another report on Huawei’s situation.
  • Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei said he has been surprised by the extent to which the U.S. has attacked the company, wrote Bloomberg. Ren also said Huawei stands to lose $30 billion over the coming two years as a result of the moves. $30 billion!

The Honor 20 Lite in a person's hand. Android Authority

Huawei finds ally in U.S. chipmakers?

  • Despite the bleak sales projections, speculation from Reuters earlier today suggested U.S. chip manufacturers may be taking Huawei’s side. At least, insofar as it benefits them.
  • Reuters says executives from Intel and Xilinx attended a recent meeting with the U.S. Commerce Department to discuss the matter of Huawei’s restrictions – seemingly to encourage the department to ease them.
  • Huawei sources components from many U.S. chip companies including Intel, Micron, and Qualcomm; Reuters suggests Huawei spent around $11 billion with those three brands in 2018.
  • Additionally, U.S. semiconductor company Broadcom said the ongoing U.S./China trade war and Huawei ban stand to knock $2 billion off its sales this year.
  • Rather than opposing the ban because Huawei is their best pal, however, the move seems to be motivated more by finances.
  • This isn’t about helping Huawei. It’s about preventing harm to American companies,” said one of Reuters’ sources.
  • As for the grounds on which Intel and Xilinx fought their case, Reuters sources said: “Chipmakers argue that Huawei units selling products such as smartphones and computer servers use commonly available parts and are unlikely to present the same security concerns as the Chinese technology firm’s 5G networking gear.”
  • Huawei representatives told us Huawei didn’t have a statement on the matter yet, but Andrew Williamson, vice president of Huawei’s public affairs, told Reuters Huawei hadn’t asked anyone specifically to lobby on its behalf.

The Huawei P30 Pro and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Android Authority

What’s next?

  • Huawei has a U.S. component stockpile to fall back on for the moment, but it’s only a short term solution. It will need to find new parts suppliers – and eventually roll out its own mobile OS – to continue producing smartphones with these restrictions in place.
  • But this eventuality may never come to pass.
  • President Trump says Huawei could be part of a future trade deal between the U.S. and China – despite that the U.S. considers it a major national security concern.
  • There’s a chance – and for my money, a rather strong chance – Huawei will regain unrestricted access to U.S. components for its smartphones, along with the full Android license from Google.
  • The U.S. government, U.S. hardware companies, Google, Huawei, and China may all stand to gain from that move, in one way or another.
  • The whole matter could be settled without any major changes to Huawei and Honor phones, or the Android ecosystem.
  • Just a few billion dollars will be lost somewhere along the way.

2. Genius says Google stole lyrics from them, robbing them of traffic. (The Wall Street Journal, paywall). Lyrics website Genius says it developed a clever ploy to catch Google copying its lyrics to use in Google search – and it says Google did just that. If you can’t access WSJ at the previous link you can read the lowdown over at Android Authority. It’s fun.


3. Walmart launched an unlimited grocery delivery subscription service (The Verge).


4. Chinese cyberattack hits Telegram app during Hong Kong protest (NBC). Telegram is blocked in the region, but remains accessible via VPNs and other software to circumvent China’s Great Firewall. The encrypted app has been a go-to app for those organizing the recent protests, but now it’s accusing China of a cyber attack.


5. Samsung’s Lee looks beyond next 10 years with 6G, system chips (Bloomberg). Samsung acting boss Jay Lee’s first public comments about 6G in this short piece.


6. Volvo Trucks’ cabin-less self-driving hauler takes on its first job (New Atlas).


7. Big O Notation: Why is “O(n!)=O(mg)” Funny? (Gary Explains).


8. The owner of dating app Bumble said it plans to spend $100 million creating an array of new dating apps, part of an expansion and revamp of the privately held holding (The Wall Street Journal, paywall).


9. The Pixel 3A is the best selling unlocked phone on Amazon U.S. right now (9to5Google).


10. How to get Netflix for free and save as much as $190 per year (AA). We showed you how to get paid apps for free last week, this week, it’s Netflix’s turn – just don’t expect it free for life.


11. Four useful things you can’t do with Google Photos, for some reason (AA).


12. And in case you missed it last week, the Google Pixel 4 was apparently spotted in the wild, and the folding Huawei Mate X has been delayed (AA).


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