miércoles, 19 de junio de 2019

Collateral damage of trade wars

There's a certain probability that in five years the inclusion of Huawei in the US Commerce Department entity list will be study as the black swan event for the OS market for smart devices. Until May 16th 2019, Android was the dominant player in the OS market for Smart Phones and other consumer devices (such as TVs). The maket share of Android on smartphone OS was more than 80% and there was not pesrspective of a viable alternative to it. This position was achieved not without a fierce battle, because we should remember than less than 10 years ago Android was a minor player in the same market.

But then, the unexpected happened. The second player in the smartphone market, Huawei, was banned to use Android and forced to look for an alternative. Based on its immense R&D force (the Chinese company spends more than 15 $ billion per year), Huawei announce that it would began to distribute its own OS less than month after, just in time to avoid (or at least, to make difficult) a massive abandonement of the Huawei Smartphone by users.

There are some people who predicts a Huawei´s failure in this challenge. The main error is the comparison with the fruitless trials of Amazon or Microsoft to compete with Google in the Smartphone OS market. On both cases, the companies made the same errors. They tried to build up at the same time a market share on devices and a market share on OS. Huawei already has a market share on devices. Furthermore, while Amazon/Microsoft were not playing for surviving, Huawei has not alternative but to battle until the end. In this circumstances, even the obstacle of not having Gmail, maps and other Google apps in Huawei´s smartphone will not be a a definite hurdle, because the alternative in not having anything at all.

The first hint that Google is worried about the unexpected competitor in the OS market is already on the table. The Google lobbyist machine are beginning to fight the ban with all its forces. Even the first sign of impact of these efforts has appeared with the doubts about Huawei´s blacklisting in some high US official.

Interesting months ahead in the Smartphone OS market for once in many years. The Google dominance of this sector maybe the collateral damage of the trade wars.

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