Huawei Android ban temporarily lifted - but it's still not good news for the brand

Huawei Android ban lifted
The Android ban on Huawei phones has been temporarily lifted. Image credit: TechRadar (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The US Commerce Department has temporarily lifted the ban on American businesses working with Huawei - allowing software updates to continue on Huawei phones.

The license rolls back the restrictions from the goverment and will allow Google to continue working with Huawei, allowing the Chinese brand to keep using Android in the same manner as before until August 19, according to Reuters.

We've contacted Huawei for comment, but the brand did not immediately respond to TechRadar's request.

While this is good news for Huawei, the temporary rescinding of the ban really only allows the brand more time to prepare for the launch of its next handsets and develop the Android Q update for its current smartphones. 

Given we're not expecting the next flagship phone, the Huawei Mate 30, until later in the year, this lifting doesn't relieve fears that the brand will struggle without having full access to the Android operating system.

Reuters previously reported that the US Commerce Department was considering a temporary lowering of the ban, in order for networks currently using Huawei equipment to maintain important services for consumers - essentially, this gives more time for them to feasibly come up with alternatives.

A brighter future?

That could be enough time for Huawei to launch the much-feted Mate X, its first foldable phone and one that many are hoping will ignite consumer enthusiasm for the form factor following the failed launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Launching a phone of that magnitude (not to mention cost) would be mired in questions regarding the Google ban - if Huawei even had managed to have the handset certified to run 'full fat' Android by the time of launch.

The three month lifting of the ban should give Huawei enough time to at least begin bringing its case forward over why it shouldn't be added to Entity List, the situation it finds itself in now as the US government has deemed the brand to be a danger to national security.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.