Report: Huawei Pumps Brakes on Laptop Business

Huawei MateBook 13 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

According to a recent DigiTimes report, Huawei has told its upstream notebook components suppliers to suspend their deliveries to the company. The reported move comes after Huawei lost access to Intel and AMD’s processors, as well as Microsoft’s Windows operating system (OS).

The report cited "sources from the related upstream supply chain" and said that Huawei has also hit pause on new laptop development. 

Lost Access to x86 Chips, Windows 10

When the U.S. government banned foreign companies that pose a threat to its national security, some U.S. companies immediately stopped collaborating with Huawei, including Google, Intel and Qualcomm. Not long after, Huawei’s MateBook X Pro disappeared without a trace from Microsoft’s online retail store. But the ban didn’t just mean that Microsoft would no longer be able to sell Huawei’s devices -- it also meant that Microsoft can no longer provide Huawei with Windows 10 licenses.

Without Windows licenses, access to Intel and AMD chips or a Windows-alternative in the pipeline, Huawei seems to have had no choice but to suspend its notebook business.

Other Roadblocks for Huawei

When Google stopped collaborating with Huawei, that included supplying Huawei with Android updates, preventing Huawei from building new Android smartphones.

Google has defended Huawei (and its own interests) and gained a three-month exemption allowing it to work with Huawei. However, Huawei has already announced plans to create its own OS for the Chinese market.

Huawei seems to have had a contingency plan in place in case it ever loses access to Android. Even though other Android forks or OSes that supported Android applications have launched before, including Amazon’s Fire OS and BlackBerry OS 10, they haven’t seen anything close to the success of Android. Therefore, it’s not clear how much success Huawei’s own OS for smartphones would have in the market, even if it were able to run Android applications.

Additionally, Huawei lost access to Arm chip IP, so the company won’t be able to build chips using Arm designs it hasn’t already acquired.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.