NEW DELHI: Huawei, which is under threat to lose Google’s support due to US sanctions, is already facing a slowdown in the Indian smartphone market as some retailers have started pushing consumers to rival products citing uncertainty about the Chinese firm’s future supplies.
Several retailers confirmed this to ET and said other smartphone makers have approached them underlining why Huawei’s handsets should not be pushed.
had on Monday announced restrictions on Huawei’s access to its Android operating system in line with an executive order from US president Donald Trump. While the US technology major on Wednesday put off this decision for 90 days after US temporarily eased the ban on Huawei, Indian retailers are still wary of recommending the brand to their customers.
“With the news of Google stopping services to Huawei, though they have been granted extension of 90 days, I wouldn't like my customers to face any problem in future regarding the updates, so will have to divert it to other brands,” Manish Khatri of Mumbai-based retailer Mahesh Telecom told ET.
Huawei — the world’s second largest smartphone maker by shipments that enjoys 4.5% share in the Indian market — currently sells around 85% of its Honor and Huawei branded phones through online partners. But it is trying to rapidly expand the offline channel to close in on top players such as Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo and Vivo. It has already struck a partnership with Tatas’ electronics chain Croma for its premium phones.
Ritesh Ghosal, chief marketing officer at Infinity Retail which operates Croma, said the firm continues to sell its existing stock of Huawei devices and that it hasn’t received any communication from its partner.
“Our understanding is this (Android support issue) will affect the future models, and will not be supported by Google,” he told ET.
Some recently launched models of Huawei, like P30 Pro, are already unavailable at some Delhi-based Croma outlets.
Another retailer said handsets like P30 Pro and Mate 20 Pro had just started to fetch consumer interest due to premium camera features and build quality, but the new development will hurt their sales. “Existing Huawei customers are worried about the resale value, which surely will take a hit in the absence of future Google support,” said the person who chose to be anonymous.
Huawei, in a statement, said it will continue to sell Android-based smartphones from its existing stocks in India and support the ones that are in use. Poorvika, an offline partner of Huawei in southern India, said Huawei remains a popular brand in its outlets.