In the meantime, the last one has also noticed: Huawei is in a bad spot. Every day there is new news about the disgraced Chinese smartphone maker. Sometimes good news, like the resumption of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro in the Android beta program yesterday, but also new bad news. WhatsApp support may also be omitted from Huawei / Honor devices. But what can you as a Huawei owner do now? Just accept everything and, especially now, walk around with a smartphone that is no longer supported? Or can the devices possibly be returned?

Huawei – What about the right to return a Huawei phone?

Last week, President Trump put the Chinese smartphone manufacturer on the trade blacklist so that Huawei is no longer allowed to do business with American companies. As a result, Google revoked the Android license from Huawei, so that Huawei is only able to access the open source version of Android. But where do the security updates come from? Version updates, such as the already tangible Android Q, are a thing of the past.

We heard of a 90-day, temporary license that enables US companies to do limited business with Huawei and thus to provide updates to existing smartphones until August. However, Huawei has prepared for “such a scenario” and would like to throw its own android-compatible operating system called HongMeng OS into the ring. The Play Store is to be replaced by a collaboration with Aptoide. However, further problems, such as the fact that the manufacturer Arm’s chips are no longer used, only increase the dilemma. After the Honor 20 Pro from the subsidiary brand Honor was the first phone to not receive Android approval and all Huawei phones were removed from the Android side, you should think about what else you can do with your Huawei smartphone.

However, we received a good sign yesterday: The Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which was removed from the Android beta website last week, reappeared there yesterday.

No more WhatsApp support for Huawei devices

What has not yet been confirmed, but is likely: The existing Huawei and Honor devices could soon also lose the support of the popular WhatsApp messenger. Because the US government also forbids “the installation of communication technology and services”. That would mean that apps with an “American background” available in the Huawei AppGallery would no longer be usable.

And WhatsApp as well as Facebook or Instagram and Snapchat are considered communication technology and are all based in America. It would be possible to load an APK file or the app via Aptoide, but whether it would then work without any support remains questionable.

Is it still worth buying a Huawei smartphone?

All that so far a Huawei smartphone her own call, can wait and see, as these are devices with the Google services. How it will look after the 90-day period in August, no one can answer today. Is there a relenting of the US government in the trade dispute and for Huawei and the users maybe everything will continue as before? If not, the existing smartphones will also be without any guarantee of updates in 90 days. You will then remain at the previous level. Popular apps could also be without support and thus no longer work as usual.

at new devices that are not yet on the market or on sale, Huawei can install the AOSP version of Android, but then has to present its users with an alternative to Google Play and other Google services. However, it is then questionable whether the local user who just wants to make phone calls, whatsapp and take photos will assemble his smartphone / operating system himself from alternative app stores. Because with no effort or energy for the operation and security of your smartphone, you only have an unsafe technical device in your hands. The security updates are also open source and can be used by Huawei, but only after they are available via the Android Open Source Project. However, access to version updates and thus the new features is no longer given. New features could also only be used after they are open source.

And let’s go from one new, proprietary operating system called HongMeng OS or ARK OS: So you buy a smartphone that contains an operating system that is in its infancy. Any teething problems included. That means you might have an expensive smartphone with a top camera for great pictures, but an operating system that might not be compatible with Android after all. You either have to install various apps such as an email client, a navigation app or a messenger via alternative app stores or Huawei presents Google-compatible apps. Everything is still very immature, although a third operating system alongside the two top dogs Google / Android and Apple / iOS could stimulate the market. But since everything is over the knee right now and there are reports of a global rollout in the next month, which was then again denied, I don’t think everything will go so smoothly.

What rights do I have as a Huawei user?

We in the editorial team also acquired a Huawei P Smart 2019 Phone in January of this year. It was shipped with the current Android 9.0 Pie and a 2 month old security patch. We had bought the device from Amazon and since the internet department store is considered very accommodating, we asked in a friendly chat what it looks like, given the current situation, with a return of the smartphone we bought 4/5 months ago. The employee has reinsured himself and then took the smartphone back for a refund of the purchase price. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way.

Do I have the right to receive updates?

The consumer advice center of North Rhine-Westphalia writes:

The right contact person should currently be Huawei or Honor as the manufacturer of the devices. On the other hand, a procedure against the seller or dealer of the cell phone is currently unlikely to be promising, since in particular rights from warranty or guarantee are usually ruled out in this case. Likewise, any claims against Google itself are unlikely to exist.

The relevant contractual conditions of Huawei do not regulate any obligation to provide software updates. So generally customers have You are not entitled to always receive the latest version of an operating system. In our opinion, however, Huawei has to ensure that customers do not suffer any damage, or at least at least, as a result of any software errors continue to use the devices safely for a reasonable period of use is possible.

It is up to the manufacturer to decide which measures he takes to achieve this goal. So he can fall back on the Android patches still available under open source licenses or, for example, switch to his own operating system. From our point of view, customers should not have a legal right to be supplied with the usual Google software in the future.

As interpreted by the consumer advice center, you have no right to the provision of version updates, but Huawei must ensure that users are not harmed by any security gaps. Or it must guarantee safe use of the devices for a reasonable period of time. Missing version updates are therefore no reason for a return a Huawei device, but probably missing security updates, since without them it is no longer possible to use the devices safely.

However, Huawei users have some of the very expensive top devices assuming that purchased at least 2 version updates should be done. Respectively, in advertising by Huawei, it was guaranteed that the current Android operating system was always running (Android Q from August). However, Huawei can / may no longer deliver this at the moment. Thus, the right of return could apply and you would have a chance to return your Huawei phone.

The right to return or withdraw from the contract for online purchases is valid for 14 days according to Section 355 of the German Civil Code (BGB), starting with the conclusion of the contract, unless otherwise specified. Some online retailers have a 30-day withdrawal period.

Even if a mobile phone contract was concluded and a smartphone was bought via this contract, you can theoretically withdraw from it within 14 days according to the “right of withdrawal for consumer contracts”. This also applies if the SIM card has already been used. However, costs incurred up to that point would have to be paid. Mobile phone contracts with a local provider are not covered by the right of withdrawal. The revocation should always be made in writing by registered mail. If the 14-day period has passed, however, it looks rather bad with a return. Because Huawei can claim that it cannot do anything for the Google lock and can therefore not be held liable as the cause of the problems.

Conclusion

At the moment we have no choice but to wait and see: will there be an agreement or not. Huawei asserts its independence from the Chinese government due to allegations of espionage by the US government. Allegedly, no back doors are built into Huawei devices with which one can spy on data of the users or the telephone provider. In theory, we could hardly care who is spying on us. Whether Huawei and the Chinese or Google and the USA. One way or another, our data is in the hands of others. However, in order to continue to use the European / American Android variant, you should consider whether there is a possibility of returning your Huawei smartphone.

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