back to article It's the curious case of the vanishing iPhone sales as Huawei grabs second place off Apple in smartmobe stakes

Apple and Samsung collectively sold almost 17.5 million fewer smartphones globally in the opening quarter of 2019 than they managed a year ago as buyer fatigue continued. The pair's premium handsets were among the biggest losers in a market that shrank from 383.5 million units 12 months ago to 373 million, such were the lack …

  1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

    Price cuts? Tick. More price cuts? Tick. Damn, where to next for Tim Cook and co?

    Get the Great Orange Prez to ban Huawei and all those who work with them, natch

    1. iron Silver badge

      It's the least he could do for his pal Tim Apple.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How about releasing 5G (4G+++ and 5G...) in two parts, each requiring a new handset?

      I know, if I worked for a mobile telco I’d be considered a genius. Instead I write here and am a barely literate idiot...

    3. sum_of_squares
      Pint

      I came here to post this.

  2. BGatez Bronze badge

    Price? Nothing to se here.

    Maybe a decent phone that cost less than three decent laptops?

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Price? Nothing to se here.

      Five to ten laptops if we're talking decent used ThinkPads and $1,000 phones.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Price? Nothing to se here.

      Apple have got you covered, they're raising laptop prices for no discernible reason.

      Oh, you said "decent" laptops.

      1. cream wobbly

        Re: Price? Nothing to se here.

        "no discernible reason"

        Hey now, be fair, they're shipping them with buttonpads that work, now!

        The last Mac laptop with a decent keyboard said "PowerBook" on the front. And you could replace it far easier those days - no need to undo 74 microscopic screws and unhook 9 fragile ribbon cables with four different connector types back then.

        1. John Bailey

          Re: Price? Nothing to se here.

          "Hey now, be fair, they're shipping them with buttonpads that work, now!"

          Should this not read "Hey now, be fair, they're shipping them with buttonpads that work, for now!"?

          1. vaporland

            Re: Price? Nothing to se here.

            they need to ship them with buttpads that cushion the pain of the price

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Price? Nothing to se here.

              they need to ship them with buttpads that cushion the pain of the price

              Think you mean knee and elbow pads..

            2. wayward4now
              Mushroom

              Re: Price? Nothing to se here.

              "they need to ship them with buttpads that cushion the pain of the price"

              They need to ship them with male tampons to staunch the blood coming from your ass.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The price cut for iPhones across markets helped drive up demand but wasn't enough to restore growth in the first quarter," said Gupta. "Apple is facing longer replacement cycles as users struggle to see enough value benefits to justify replacing existing iPhones."

    Especially when they've got larger, expensive, and pointless. The iPhone SE is a handy size for a lot of people, and, by happy chance, does everything anyone really wants a phone to do anyway. I wonder if the recent (and temporary?) re-availability of the iPhone SE from Apple as "refurbed" was them simply testing out the market for something like that?

    This problem will spread to Android too, if it hasn't already.

    With Apple seemingly transitioning to services, then perhaps they should recognise that more people will use those services if they feel like they're not being ripped off with unnecessarily expensive hardware that is unnecessarily fragile. Smartphones have long ceased being a cool fashion thing, so perhaps they should also start making some that are more durable for a good price.

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge

      There have been rumours of SE sized devices coming in Sept, allegedly with 8 internals. Probably baseless, as that would be a good idea.

      1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Probably baseless, as that would be a good idea.

        Simply brilliant.

      2. Buzzword

        Re: SE sized devices

        No, it wouldn't be a good idea. The market has moved on. Demand for an SE-sized device has evaporated, as apps and websites are increasingly designed for larger screens.

        1. Adair

          Re: SE sized devices

          My XZ1 Compact suits me, and my pocket and my bank account, very well thank you.

          1. Buzzword

            Re: SE sized devices

            Your 2017 Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact has a 4.6" screen; the iPhone SE has a 4.0" screen. That's a substantial difference.

            Even that is a rarity. None of the mainstream manufacturers has released a smartphone with a screen under 5" since 2017, with the notable exception of Blackberry's KEY2 and KEY2 LE which have the same external dimensions as the new Google Pixel 3a. Outside of niche markets, the demand for tiny phones just isn't there any more.

            1. Flak
              Stop

              Re: SE sized devices

              @Buzzword

              stop digging :-)

            2. Stork Silver badge

              Re: SE sized devices

              No, it is a real pain that is so impossible to find a phone that is not utter crap without being the size of a roof tile.

              I am on a Nokia 5.1, but even that is too large for my taste. The ZX1 compact was nicer.

            3. vaporland

              Re: SE sized devices

              I bought the Pixel 3a XL based on review here on El Reg, could not be happier - $1000 phone for $400. super nice and sensible design. and a fingerprint reader on the back, where your fingers just naturally go.

              none of that stupid Face Lock or Swastika Swipe to unlock...

        2. cream wobbly

          Re: SE sized devices

          "as apps and websites are increasingly designed for larger screens"

          No they're not. If they *need* a larger screen, that's an admission of a *failure* of design.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: SE sized devices

            "No they're not. If they *need* a larger screen, that's an admission of a *failure* of design."

            Or the failure of eyesight, the older you get, the bigger you need, even with glasses some stuff is still too small, but turning up the font size doesn't work will either.

        3. SonOfDilbert
          WTF?

          Re: SE sized devices

          Erm, nope. I don't think that it's true that demand has evaporated for the SE form factor (although, admittedly, I don't have anything apart from anecdotal evidence to back this).

          The SE is relatively well-priced for the specs; the battery lasts two days (at least, mine does); it can do most of what premium phones can do including making phone calls; it includes a pretty good camera; it looks like a 5S so it's presumably less likely to be tea-leaved by someone; and - guess what? - it fits really nicely in a pocket.

        4. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: SE sized devices

          Whao. 0 vs 27 negative votes. First time I've seen a score of 0 vs 27 before.

          1. Radio Wales

            Re: SE sized devices

            Hey! It's 0 : 48 Now.

            1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

              Re: SE sized devices

              Dang! 0:48.

    2. Blank Reg

      The difference is that with Android there are already phones available in a range of sizes, prices and capabilities. No matter what you need you can find it, so some vendors that depend on overpriced, oversized and overpowered devices may suffer, but there are others there to provide whatever the consumer might want.

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge
      Holmes

      "Apple is facing longer replacement cycles as users struggle to see enough value benefits to justify replacing existing iPhones."

      Apple and Sammy are discovering a little thing that economists call demand elasticity...

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        "Apple is facing longer replacement cycles as users struggle to see enough value benefits to justify replacing existing iPhones."

        Sounds like much the same demand curve that Windows PCs have already followed. I suppose Apple doesn't really take an interest in PCs.

        The world is littered with the wreckage of companies that thought they could sell a Giffen good. Sooner or later, reality catches up with them.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Upping your game

    Or not?

    It used to be, that if your competitors were making goods that offered better value for money to customers and consequently were outselling you, you would find ways to up your game and beat them with a better product.

    Not anymore though, now it's cheaper and less effort to destroy your competitors with some kind of pseudo-legal crap to stop them trading

    The same currently applies with oil and gas too, among other things the US doesn't want competitors to supply, hence all the sanctions around the world to stop South American , Russian, Asian and Middle Eastern countries selling their nasty socialist products to the West.

    1. Rainer

      Re: Upping your game

      > It used to be, that if your competitors were making goods that offered better value for money to

      > customers and consequently were outselling you, you would find ways to up your game and beat

      > them with a better product.

      First of all, that is a very romantic and rose-tinted view of the past.

      It has rarely existed in such pure form, at least for a long term.

      The problem is that Huawei and China have repeatedly been found to violate intellectual property rights. Not just on phones, but on anything they can get their hands on.

      Huawei may just have been an especially egregious transgressor.

      Phones are just the most profitable business.

      Car manufacturers will be next to realize this.

      It's more or less official policy of China to absorb as much IP as possible, at almost any cost.

      The West has lamented this situation for a long time, but never did anything about it, except talk and get more promises from China that were never kept.

      Now, Trump has at least created an incentive for China to keep those promises.

      The only problem is that this ban should have happened ages ago, before the problem got so huge.

      That there will be various repercussions from this on various levels is a different issue.

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: Upping your game

        Sorry @Rainer , but you are incorrect.

        While I agree that China is not the most respectful player of IP rights (as I know firsthand), in no way has Huawei been repeatedly found to violate intelectual property rights. That is just incorrect.

        And, following that, obviously Huawei is NOT and specially egregious IP transgressor (unless we start looking into GPL, but then Cisco, etc are also transgressors, just not as bad).

        Phones the most profitable business? Sorry, but this makes it clear that you do not know anything about the telecom sector.

        If anything, these heavy handed, WTO illegal actions demonstrate that some actor ignore the rule all law, and essentially threaten with trade clout and military power for their own goals. That is bad overall, as encourages isolationism, damages the global economy and rises tensions and military buildup.

        1. Rainer

          Re: Upping your game

          What about this?

          https://www.macrumors.com/2019/02/18/huaweis-efforts-to-steal-apple/

          There's no court decision, AFAIK.

          There's the case Alcatel-Lucent brought against them, but IIRC it was settled out of court.

          The US has never really cared about any international board or committee that might have a different opinion on things as they themselves at some point, hence their absence on certain ones.

          US dominance in everything IT-related (from DNS Root Servers to chips and software) has long since been regarded a problem even beyond China, Russia and North Korea. Some people seem to wake it to it just now, though.

          1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

            Re: Upping your game

            @Rainer

            That macrumours article is suspicous, look at the dates of it.

            Do I believe it? well, I expect them to do exactly that, as I had to deal them in the past. I expect the same from Apple, only on a less obvious way (for legal reasons).

            I have seen (c) Alcatel on Huawei code, several times. I have also seen undisclosed GPL code in all incumbents.

            The main problem is not US dominance in technology, but US dominance as a bully.

            It is quite a big market, moves plenty of money, and can strongarm their "allies" to do what is convenient for them, like shutting down Huawei.

            For those of us that don´t live in the US, this is a problem, as it disrupts international trade, and shows that "tainted" companies are not reliable as a supplier.

            The US proposal that China must forgo food security and buy it from the US is obviously unacceptable, for very clear reasons. It is bad not to have intel processors, but no food?

      2. cream wobbly

        Re: Upping your game

        "Car manufacturers will be next to realize this."

        Wow. Almost as though you've never heard of wonderful creations like the Land Wind X7 which seems to be all over the automotive press, or going back to earlier sweeter times, the Bamin BM1020KH.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Upping your game

          Any idea which website I can buy one via an EU warehouse?

          I'll take the 1100 engine for the 11,000 price tag.

      3. Louis Schreurs

        Re: Upping your game

        All went to China because of cheap labour, (human rights, environment, working conditions), could’ve stayed at home, but politicians were responsible, so nothing happened, or more precise, the road to were we are right now in the world was made into a trunkroad.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    WTF?

    What ?

    "Google has said it will comply with the order by pulling access to Play Store and other services from future Huawei mobile hardware"

    Um, aren't you forgetting something ? Like, the fact that it may be Huawei hardware, but the people who bought it are not necessarily in China, or even Chinese for that matter ?

    Somehow I feel a lawsuit coming up for Google, based on the fact that US citizens had and have, right up to that August deadline, every right to buy Huawei, and Google has no right to refuse service to US citizens, if I am not mistaken, and I'm pretty sure that Google is going to catch some major flak if it tries that outside of the US.

    I'm sure it's all nice and fuzzy to have a whipping boy, but you can't extend that whip to everyone who happens to be in the same room.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What ?

      Google is not part of the US government, they can refuse service to any dumbfuck they want.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What ?

        let's hope they can't prove that it was financial gain that was behind the block....

    2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: What ?

      based on the fact that US citizens had and have, right up to that August deadline, every right to buy Huawei, and Google has no right to refuse service to US citizens

      Nope and nope.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: What ?

      It is amazing how clueless people are when it comes to "rights" as a US citizen. No, your right of 'free speech' does mean that companies like Facebook have to give you a platform to say whatever you want. There isn't even a 'freedom of choice of mobile phone' in the Constitution, unless there has been a recent amendment, so I don't know where the heck you'd get this far more ridiculous idea that "Google can't refuse service to US citizens"!

      I think basically people think their rights to extend to "anything I want is my right as a US citizen because FREEEEEEDOM" but the rights of others can and should be limited if those other people are doing something they personally disagree with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What ?

        DougS,

        "I think basically people think their rights to extend to "anything I want is my right as a US citizen because FREEEEEEDOM" but the rights of others can and should be limited if those other people are doing something they personally disagree with."

        DougS, do you also go by the name of 'Trump' or 'Mr. Prez' when not posting on El Reg ??? ;) :)

        This is US Foreign Policy in a nutshell, including the 'Crazy' logic !!! :)

        1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

          Re: What ?

          Agreed, the only thing that could have made his post any dumber was to have ascribed those rights to have been "god given".

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What ?

      "Somehow I feel a lawsuit coming up for Google, based on the fact that US citizens had and have, right up to that August deadline, every right to buy Huawei, and Google has no right to refuse service to US citizens, if I am not mistaken, and I'm pretty sure that Google is going to catch some major flak if it tries that outside of the US."

      You do know that the ban is only applied to the building of new phones and that it won't affect phones already sold? Don't you? It's really not like all Huawei phones will suddenly lose all access to Google Play Store and the APIs. It's simply that the licence to install it on new phones will be rescinded. (It likely will affect future updates too, but hey, how many manufactures provide updates 6 months after launch?)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What ?

      You can always ADB and sideload it in - https://opengapps.org/ ?

      I've done that before, when I realised I was missing the Play Store for apps.*

      1. quxinot Silver badge

        Re: What ?

        If they're blocking all of the Google services from install, then we need to get Facebook and the other usual pre-install can't-uninstall crap vendors on that list.

        And then, I'll know precisely what my next phone will be! I'd happily order direct for a phone that I can trust!

        (Hey, the Chinese government hasn't shown any inclination to show me ads yet!)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What ?

        Or Huawei will put their dev team onto creating content for MicroG and/or Sailfish OS

  6. 0laf Silver badge

    I don't think you could sue Google for obeying the law.

    I'm sure I read in El Reg somewhere else that Huawei doesn't sell much in the states anyway. I advised my own IT department to avoid Huawei kit just in case this type of ban came in or the security services mandate its removal. Then I get caught out after buying one of the bastards.

    1. NotTrue

      My IT team just got used to using the P Smart and it being a great phone for the general users at a low price and I myself got the mate 20 pro only a month ago, do I regret amid the news.. not at all, I'll be glad to see what Huawei come up with to run their amazing handsets without all the google slurping stuff built-in.

      I always thought I'd go back to Nokia...but it turns out Huawei have old Nokia devs so I think we could be on to a winner in the coming years...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Three

        This has to be the beginnings of a third app platform. Google, Apple, and Huawei.

        1. Louis Schreurs

          Re: Three

          Not huuway, but just a global NUS operating system. The world will be moving to a Non United States set of just about everything. U$A is in an internal political power war, it will eat eatself. Sparta all over again.

          1. DrBed

            Re: Three

            "NUS" (Non United States set of just about everything) ROFL... but yes, it is true.

            @"Sparta all over again": Not just that: if Orange_Thing does not recall his stupid Wah-Way blackmail, here is what's going to happen, soon: "CHINA READY TO HIT BACK AT U.S. WITH RARE EARTHS". Now imagine vanishing sales then, not just of iPhone.

            Just google for "rare earths" (or better, use Baidu search).

  7. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

    Oppo and Vivo? They're one company.

    From the article:

    Rounding off the top five highest selling smartphone vendors in Q1 was OPPO and Viva [sic], with sales of 29.6 million and 27.3 million each, up 7.3 and 6.1 per cent respectively.

    Why are figures for Oppo and Vivo cited separately? The two are basically two brands by one company (BBK Electronics). Their third brand is OnePlus.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oppo and Vivo? They're one company.

      Same as Huawei and Honor

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Oppo and Vivo? They're one company.

      "Why are figures for Oppo and Vivo cited separately?"

      Just the way Gartner breaks them out - see the linked-to announcement. Also, it's Vivo and not Viva - now corrected.

      C.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile ...

    © Getty

    Huawei has filed a trademark request with the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) for the names Huawei Ark OS, Huawei Ark, Ark and Ark OS.

    The requests were only made recently - on 24 May - which comes quite soon after Google, ARM and other companies had officially ended their partnership with the smartphone manufacturer.

    1. STOP_FORTH

      Re: Meanwhile ...

      "A" Ark or "B" Ark? I'm guessing it will be the one with the 'phone sanitisers.

      1. 080

        Re: Meanwhile ...

        "A" Ark or "B" Ark? I'm guessing it will be the one with the 'phone sanitisers."

        Hope the B Ark does not turn out to be a bit of a dog

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile ...

      Ark sounds a bit like Jolla (lifeboat)...

    3. DJV Silver badge

      ARK

      Hmm, maybe that stands for something like Android Replacement Kernel...

      ...ok, so I'm struggling with the 'K' as it's likely they'd stick with a Linux kernel underneath.

      Or maybe it's called Ark because they intend signing up other mobile makers two-by-two!

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: ARK

        Android Replacement Krap?

        Krapshoot?

    4. DougS Silver badge

      Yes this is their Hongmeng OS

      They've been working on it since 2012 as a 'plan B' apparently.

      They just announced today they are switching to it in the very near future - apparently on existing devices. So if you own a Huawei phone, you might want to disable automatic updates because a change this large has never been attempted before by anyone.

      I mean, assuming this OS isn't just AOSP with a few extra bits glued on but a truly different OS, and I can't imagine it would take 7 years to do AOSP+bits so I'll bet it is different. Having your phone automatically update to it would be like if Apple pushed an OTA update that installed Android, only this is worse because Huawei has far more hardware models. Odds are high this will be very very ugly, with bricked devices everywhere.

      1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        Re: Yes this is their Hongmeng OS

        only this is worse because Huawei has far more hardware models. Odds are high this will be very very ugly, with bricked devices everywhere.

        Why?

        A company the size of Huawei, and a project that has been in progress since seven years, and they would fail to consider the impact of such a move?

        They might even have already compiled a secret build of HongMeng OS for each and every device they released since then.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Yes this is their Hongmeng OS

          They might have done that. Microsoft might have tested the 1809 build of Windows on lots of models, preventing the driver blue screens. Router manufacturers might have security tested their basic firmware, having fewer vulnerabilities. Samsung might have put some of their Galaxy Folds into the field before sending them to reviewers, catching the easily damaged mechanisms. Samsung might also have put their Galaxy Note 7s into more vigorous testing, catching the exploding batteries.

          Just because a company is big, that doesn't mean they will be perfect. Huawei doesn't have a reputation as some technogenious which always knows what is going on and produces flawless products. If they did, your defense of them based on nothing might have some logic. In reality, they're a normal tech company that has its history of making mistakes and being generally fine. Saying that they might have some trouble trying to update a billion devices in the field to something that might be an entire replacement of the operating system is a very sensible worry, born out by the experience of trouble that happened every other time such a massive change was attempted.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

            Re: Yes this is their Hongmeng OS

            Just because a company is big, that doesn't mean they will be perfect.

            I think that you misunderstood my argument here. It's not that Huawei is big, it's that it's no startup. It's not that it's definitely immune from error because it's big, but that it is less likely to ignore such fundamental issues.

            Saying that they might have some trouble trying to update a billion devices in the field to something that might be an entire replacement of the operating system is a very sensible worry, born out by the experience of trouble that happened every other time such a massive change was attempted.

            But then again, the risks Huawei are taking with such a mass deployment are large. This means that it has warranted some research attention with regards to the possibility of FUBARs. Doesn't mean that they are absolutely perfect and nothing is going to be amiss, but that it's unlikely that they'd just totally ignore that risk.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Yes this is their Hongmeng OS

              I would actually be more likely to assume a startup would do this properly, for the simple reason that most startups have fewer types of devices and use cases that need to work properly. I do not have any confidence in Huawei's ability to replace android with something else on devices in the field without requiring extra assistance from users. They will need to deal with users who have very little internal memory free, users who have made unusual system modifications, users who have replaced parts of the hardware (cracked screens, etc.), devices running on 2, 3, and 4G cell networks all over the world, and running in some cases firmware developed specially for specific mobile providers to lock them to that provider and to interact with providers' systems. These from the same people who forgot to turn off telnet for their routers (it wasn't an intentional backdoor, probably not at least, but it was a pretty bad mistake). No confidence at all. However, I also would not have confidence in any manufacturer who tried this, not Samsung, not Google, not Apple, not anybody. It's too large a change to go perfectly, at least in my experience, and I don't see any reason to believe that Huawei has a special method of escaping that.

              1. Louis Schreurs

                Re: Yes this is their Hongmeng OS

                War is on and there will be casualties.........

              2. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: Yes this is their Hongmeng OS

                These from the same people who forgot to turn off telnet for their routers (it wasn't an intentional backdoor, probably not at least, but it was a pretty bad mistake).

                IIRC that was pretty much every router (at least the *DSL ones) - I know of many models provided by US companies that had undocumented telnet admin systems that were open to world+dog with hardcoded simple admin credentials.

                I know of some that are still in service, and will be until the owners either die or are hacked into oblivion.

        2. DougS Silver badge

          They can test all they want

          History shows that major updates are rarely problem free. The example of Windows 10 last year is a good one - and that's only updating from one version of Windows 10 to another. Microsoft had Windows 10 problems ON SURFACE HARDWARE. They obviously tested that, but their tests didn't account for everything. They can test HongMeng on all their hardware, but like Microsoft they'll miss some things.

          Even Apple doesn't always have trouble free iOS updates, and that's despite having only a dozen or so hardware variations supported at any one time and full control of the entire stack from the CPU to the API. Millions of developers and volunteer beta testers try the new OS, but there are still surprises sometimes.

          There's no way this process will be smooth for Huawei, the question isn't whether they will have problems but whether the problems will be limited enough that it goes unnoticed by most or large enough that there are several articles on El Reg this summer regarding it.

          Not a slap at Huawei, if this really is more than just AOSP + a UI layer, which seems almost guaranteed because how do you spend 7 years working on an OS that's just AOSP, it is a bigger change than any Android, iPhone or Windows PC ever had. I don't think anyone could successfully pull off a problem-free update to a different OS, rather than an upgrade of the existing OS.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: They can test all they want

            I'm wondering whether this is actually just AOSP with their layer on top, for the simple reason that the app market has made it pretty clear that they're not going to start writing for another mobile platform what with the failures of Windows Phone, Firefox OS, and Ubuntu Touch, all of which had some buy-in from a few hardware manufacturers. I could see Huawei spending a bit longer reimplementing some compatibility with Google Play Services because they know a lot of apps will refuse to run otherwise, so that might explain it. It could also be a project run by a small team as a just-in-case, so not a major priority with many devs until it really became important.

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: They can test all they want

              Well I can't discount the possibility it is AOSP plus their little layer on top, but if so they shouldn't have told anyone they've been working on this for SEVEN YEARS.

              Talk about a good way to shout to the world you can't innovate for shit!

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: They can test all they want

            If you remember Wileyfox's updates from CyanogenOS to plain Android 7 went more-or-less fine and they were updating the base OS not the Google binary blob.

            This time it will be the other way around, it's Google's services which will have to be updated. The rest could probably stay as is, or as near as makes no difference.

  9. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Marketing

    So I can buy the one phone that I'm sure the US/UK government don't have backdoors to?

    With an open source OS and alternatives to the Google spyware?

    And it has the same premium hardware as Apple/Samsung but costs half as much

    And all this is the gift of the US government - isn't capitalism wonderful

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Marketing

      With an open source OS

      Who told you that HongMeng is open source? Unlike Fuchsia OS, we haven't seen any Git repos floating around anywhere ...

      Except if they decide to release it as open source when it's done ... but that's very un-Huawei, the very Huawei that disabled bootloader unlocks for its whole Android range.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Marketing

      No on all counts.

      "So I can buy the one phone that I'm sure the US/UK government don't have backdoors to?"

      You can't be sure of that. Nobody really knows to what extent if at all there is a backdoor running on current phones. Huawei might harbor one just as well as any other manufacturer. If the backdoor you've supposed into existence was part of Android, perhaps inside Google's blobs, it would apply to all Android phones including those from Huawei. If you're concerned enough that the U.S. and U.K. have backdoored phones, you should at least give thought to other countries, like, just to pick a name at random, the People's Republic of China having one too.

      "With an open source OS and alternatives to the Google spyware?"

      You've supposed the open source into existence too? Can I suppose things about these devices and that will just happen? They'll have a magic chip inside them that emits a new type of radio frequency that cures cancer. You have no basis for that. While Google's spyware will be gone, plenty of Huawei and partner's spyware will have replaced it. If you want open, get open, such as Lineage OS with FDroid apps on it. Do not expect a company to ride in as a savior; it isn't going to happen.

      "And it has the same premium hardware as Apple/Samsung but costs half as much"

      It has different premium hardware, and it costs the same. Their flagships are also ludicrously overpriced. They have cheaper models, and just like those from every mid-range and low-range manufacturer, they are just fine and will work for lots of people, but do not have the latest and greatest components. If you want latest and greatest at a lower pricepoint, choose a company like Xiaomi or the Oppo brand who do not have a ridiculously-expensive lineup and are better at charging a price commensurate with performance.

      I've seen several of these comments recently. Just because you don't like the action of the U.S. government, that doesn't make the company harmed by that action into the best thing on Earth. I am inclined to agree that the restrictions placed on them don't make sense from the stated security benefit and are a purely political stunt for the purposes of a continued trade war. I think that, as such, they should be reversed. That doesn't make Huawei a wonderful company that is out to make my life great and is being repressed by someone who wants to keep the underdog down. The goal of this is money, not a backdoor. It's shortsighted to assign good and evil tags out without considering the large area in the middle where these things reside.

      1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        Re: Marketing

        Agreed, but I have a few comments:

        Nobody really knows to what extent if at all there is a backdoor running on current phones. Huawei might harbor one just as well as any other manufacturer.

        Even worse: it could be inside Qualcomm SoCs, especially with Android running in an underprivileged ARM execution level on Snapdragon devices, with the higher level (EL2) being used by a proprietary hypervisor on which information online is scarce.

        Just because you don't like the action of the U.S. government, that doesn't make the company harmed by that action into the best thing on Earth.

        Also known as 'Choose your poison".

        I am inclined to agree that the restrictions placed on them don't make sense from the stated security benefit and are a purely political stunt for the purposes of a continued trade war.

        Not only that ... the restrictions will be reversed, and life will continue as normal, just like it did with ZTE. I even tend to think that this HongMeng OS is not even ready for prime-time, but is a "response tactic" instead (you've cut us off ... we don't care, here is plan B!)

        1. Rainer

          Re: Marketing

          The OS is one thing.

          Would you buy a phone that can't do any of the Chat and Social Media Apps, no Netflix or just about any app that needs some sort of API key to work?

          It doesn't matter in China, because they've blocked all of these anyway. But it matters in the rest of the world.

          1. Louis Schreurs

            Re: Marketing

            That’s the whole point, most of people in China, it’s transition into China world, as opposed 2 at this moment we are in U$A world.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Marketing

            Windows Phone!

          3. kiwimuso
            Happy

            Re: Marketing

            @Rainer

            "Would you buy a phone that can't do any of the Chat and Social Media Apps, no Netflix or just about any app that needs some sort of API key to work?"

            Bloody oath, mate!!!

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Marketing

        >If you're concerned enough that the U.S. and U.K. have backdoored phones, you should at least give thought.... China

        I would prefer China to having my phone backdoored than the UK/USA.

        I don't live in China, I don't intend going there and I don't give a damn about their politicians

        However I don't want the bloke next door that works for the police canteen to be able to look up all my browsing history at lunchtime for fun. Or the local council to be able to get all my emails if I complain about potholes.

        Or if the Orange one ever leaves and I go back to the USA on holiday - I don't want the guy behind the desk to refuse my entry because of my visits to the Onion website or because he doesn't like my Netflix viewing history.

    3. jeffdyer

      Re: Marketing

      You wouldn't even have a phone without capitalism.

  10. Barry Rueger

    No Google? That's tempting.

    I'm actually tempted by the idea of a phone that isn't stuffed with Google. That might be the push needed for me to finally extricate myself from the Googleverse.

    More and more I'm favouring a stack of hardware, an OS that's independent of hardware, and applications that I choose to install. If that sounds like Linux, or Windows 95, you're right. Forced integration never works well.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: No Google? That's tempting.

      You can do a phone that is Google free, install lineageos and skip GApps, load apps with Fdroid.

      The problem comes when some app, like our local transit tap-to-pay, needs Google maps - then you have to install the whole Google services bundle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Google? That's tempting.

        No need - try microG (FOSS alternative to Google Play Services) or carry around a cheap phone for this purpose if that doesn't work.

    2. Rainer

      Re: No Google? That's tempting.

      Why anyone would pick Huawei over Google as "overlord" is beyond comprehension to me.

      Hardware and software work best when they're developed alongside.

      Unfortunately, due to scale-effects, this only makes sense for the largest of manufacturers, as both hardware and software only really make a good profit at scale.

  11. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    Elastic Accounting 'Principles'

    Easily explained as the difference between actual sales for cash and 'accounting entries' in 'anticipation' of 'actual' sales based on 'historical' numbers.

    I like 'historical' numbers and collect as many as possible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elastic Accounting 'Principles'

      Howard Hanek,

      "Easily explained as the difference between actual sales for cash and 'accounting entries' in 'anticipation' of 'actual' sales based on 'historical' numbers."

      This is a classic technique used by Sales ..... particularly when a month/year end is almost here and you have a few 'compliant' Customers who will 'help' you to boost your bonuses by pushing a few orders 'early' and then they are paid for 'late' i.e. when the order should have been placed. !!! :)

      The Sales person just needs to fend off the agressive chasing of monies for the orders that are not yet 'needed' so to speak !!!

      Usually caught when a customer cancels a 'future' order at the last minute and the numbers suddenly don't 'add up' anymore !!! :)

  12. Greencat

    The new phones are simply too expensive for what they offer

    After a few early experiments with Android, I've stuck with Apple's flavour of mobile. But I'm on a secondhand SE that's had its battery replaced via Apple's programme. I reckon it'll be good for at least another couple of years. I like the smaller form factor and don't think any of the current mobile phone technology is worth upwards of grand. I suspect I'm not alone in making that judgement.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: The new phones are simply too expensive for what they offer

      Yep. Totally agree. I'm using a secondhand iPhone 7 bought from a local Pawn Shop three months after it was released. Just over half the original price. Does everything I want from a phone... i.e. makes calls and runs a few apps.

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: The new phones are simply too expensive for what they offer

        On that basis, I paid £10 for a network locked Blackberry Classic on eBay a few months ago, put in a PAYG SIM, stuck FDroid and Aptoide on and did a bit of trial and error to find out which FOSS apps (and old versions of apps) run smoothly. It's fine for WhatsApp with fileshare patch and MagicEarth gets me around, the old Blackberry Apps mostly still work (aside from Travel), it's solid on voice calls and I suspect if I drop it, the floor tiles will break before the phone does.

        Having too much time on my hands, I used this in conjunction with a 2011 Sony Xperia Ray running LegacyXperia/CM11 Kitkat since anything that'll run on BB10 will run on Android 4.3/4.4 to have a phone small enough to fit in my coin pocket.

    2. Cxwf

      Re: The new phones are simply too expensive for what they offer

      Seconded. Technically I bought mine firsthand, but I’ve owned it long enough now it might as well be preowned. As long as I can get the battery replaced when I need it (which is now actually, I need to set a time to go do that) - why should I pay $1k and get rewarded with a screen that no longer fits in my pocket?

    3. Rainer

      Re: The new phones are simply too expensive for what they offer

      I bought a new Xr in January, subsidized by the contract that is paid by my employer.

      But I used a 4S for almost six years and intend to use the Xr for at least five.

      The 4S I got for free, shortly before the 5 came out. The previous telco company had much better bonuses for renewing your contract - and iPhones were much cheaper, admittedly.

    4. Louis Schreurs

      Re: The new phones are simply too expensive for what they offer

      I bought my SE brandnew, at a discount, as a FASHION device. It now acts as my primary internet hub. I have an iPad (truly old, but 3 YEARS WARRANTY) that serves all my daily internet woes. Chaturbate on split screen is like 2 hookers 4 D price of 1.

  13. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    It's gonna be interesting to see if Trumps ban extends to the Chinese companies that manufacture the iPhone for Apple as well. Apple may well soon be adding more price rises as they have to switch manufacturing to the USA.

    Oh, I don't doubt that this trade war is gonna hurt China, but it's also gonna hurt the USA, and the rest of the world into the bargain. It's gonna be fun for the next few years what with the world recession and Brexit on top of each other.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Interesting to see if the ban extends to other Chinese companies.

      Apple and Dell are going to get a bunch of orders if suddenly Motorola and Lenovo and Supermicro are also banned

    2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      But that price hike is going to be backed by a media campaign (Be American, Buy American! or something)

      Apple would probably switch to a country like Taiwan (where HTC and other big names exist) or Malaysia (known for final assembly of Intel CPUs and for IDT Inc. and others) instead of straight to the US.

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      @Big_Boomer

      "It's gonna be fun for the next few years what with the world recession and Brexit on top of each other"

      Yep, and all the loopy Brexiters will be telling us how it isn't their fault we are back to pre-1900 levels of poverty because "it's someone else's fault"!

  14. SteveTM

    Apple prices are mad

    Still using an iPhone 6S and have no plans to replace as frankly I don't like the direction Apple has gone with its hardware or its prices and a new model every year and accessories priced at a disgusting piss take price...where's the incentive.

    As well as all that I do think Android is better in many ways, if Google sorted out Wear OS it would be perfect. Huawei make amazing phones, shame the ban happened, maybe someone can come up with custom ROMs in collab with Huawei themselves ;)

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge

      Re: Apple prices are mad

      I would like to see a basic (sub Android Go) phone running Wear OS. Something with the look, feel and battery life of a Nokia E51 ideally.

  15. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Next year's innovations

    Apple: We've removed the USB-C port and the cameras!

    Samsung: We have 4 USB-C ports and 16 cameras!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much money is flowing in the markets that saw the sharpest drop?

    I would be interesting to see if there was a correlation between poor/stagnant wage growth and a drop in sales.

    Think about it, if your pay is not keeping pace with the cost of living are you going to fork out for the latest smart phone or are you going to keep food on the table and a roof over you head?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: How much money is flowing in the markets that saw the sharpest drop?

      You will borrow money to buy the latest phone and then eat out because there is a deal on McFastCrappyBurgerKing

  17. Bugsy11

    These iPhone sales slowdown predictions always come this time of year when Apple is working on new devices to be rolled out by Sept. Each year, it seems the media like to use it to their beloved "Apple is doomed" click bait. Foxconn already stated they are expecting ramp up in their phone production again in second half of year. Surprise, surprise. Move along, nothing to see here.

  18. NeilPost Bronze badge

    Why does Tim need to do

    “Price cuts? Tick. More price cuts? Tick. Damn, where to next for Tim Cook and co?”

    iPhone SE/2

    - With iPhone 8 innards, 128Gb @ GBP£349

    iPhone 11 - evolution of the iPhone 8, 128Gb @£499

    Apple Family subscription inc everything (music, TV, reading, all Apps) without stupid family restrictions (are you listening here too Amazon), 4 -8 family member options and 1Tb shared storage @ £29.99/month.

    Fairly straightforward.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orange

    "vanishing iPhone sales as Huawei grabs second place off Apple in smartmobe stakes"

    Presidential Orders and suppliers (even in UK) like EE not bundling Huawei mobile consumer devices for their 5G network.

    I think the market is being artifically manipulated.

    If the Infosec teams had found a backdoor - it would have been zero day'd by now and publically exposed. I haven't seen any blog posts on Huawei consumer devices leaking any more information over and above the standard Android OS leaking of information.

  20. MooseMonkey

    I can't tell there have been any price cuts, an iPhone 7, 128GB on the Apple UK store, £549!! I'm sure that tech is at least three years old. I am still using my iPhone 6, which I think is 5 and a half years old, but something will break on it eventually, and then I'll have to go elsewhere.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...by pulling access to Play Store..."

    It would take about a week or three for 'somebody' to effectively mirror the Play Store. The Android in their handsets would need to be forked, while the new server farm is being installed. Copy and paste the files, which are hardly unavailable.

    So effectively, the policy is precisely counterproductive in the mid- or long-term.

    "Creating a monster" is a common description.

    If deniability is required, then write that in as a requirement. Forked OS would only have hooks. "Illegal" software would be separate, and deniable. The neat thing about software is that it can wriggle between the tightest definitions.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "...by pulling access to Play Store..."

      Most users in China already use other app stores, if those were offered globally on all hardware and they charged developers less than the 30% Google takes.

      Google could block competing app stores, cue class action lawsuits in the USA and eye-watering Eu fines.

  22. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Trump's tariffs and bans...

    If China announced that there was going to be an export tax of 100% on all mobile phones leaving China until Christmas or Trump grew up (whichever came first) I wonder who would blink first.

    China can easily cope with the loss of a couple of hundred thousand units. Could America cope with a doubling in price of basically everything bar a few Samsung models?

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: Trump's tariffs and bans...

      With Apple's gross margins they could easily absorb a doubling of the production costs, if they chose to.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Tim Almond

    Cheap Phones

    I recently got a mid-range Huawei. I was just going to renew my data contract with the telco, but there was a deal that was better that included a phone. Anyway, it's a P30 Lite. £270 of phone. It has 128GB of storage. And takes an SD card (as if I care with 128GB of storage). Camera seems great. Seems to last all day. Speaker is rubbish, but fine with headphones.

    I honestly don't know why anyone would spend more than this. OK, it's not waterproof, some phones have longer battery life, maybe a case made of gold-pressed latinum, maybe not as good for high end 3d games but how much is that really worth to anyone?

  24. jonathan keith
    Alert

    Fair's fair.

    If the handset manufacturers position their products as disposable, by preventing replacement of end-of-life batteries, using short-lifespan internal storage and all the other tricks then I will too, by spending as little as possible on something I know I'm going to *have* to throw away in two years' time. Fuck 'em.

  25. Roland6 Silver badge

    Not listening...

    "Demand for premium smartphones remained lower than for basic smartphones*

    ...

    * Gartner classifies a basic smartphone as a "voice-centric" mobe with a 4-inch screen and a resolution of 720p or higher"

    Given a modern 4-inch screen smartphone is more capable than an old 4-inch screen smartphone, I think the market is very clearly telling manufacturers what they want, just that it seems the manufacturers can't be bothered to listen and insist what customers want are phablets and thus complain when sales don't meet expectations...

    It seems this is a variation on the netbook marketing failure, where vendors insisted that because the netbook was smaller and more portable than a notebook, it didn't need to be as powerful/capable as a notebook, yet still run the same application binaries (or in the case of Office Starter, slightly different binaries that further reduced the screen space available for user activities)....

  26. Blissom
    Unhappy

    Huawei/Apple

    I hope Huawei goes up even higher.This is just a ploy to push Apple up as they're losing.But know what? Apple is just robbing people with their huge publicities.If they were to bring their prices down,they'd sell.Apple phones etc are just one annoying painful things.Can't stand them,so frustrating,I can scream everytime I lay my hands on them.(We do have them in addition,i just cannot deal with them).Every person on earth has the right to make a choice.This ongoing Tech war is just contributing to making the world more aggressive and negative.SO STOP ALL YOUR CRAP!!!!!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where to next?

    Maybe they could bravely innovate a small cylindrical ringed connector for tethering headphones. In a phone with the form factor of a 5S, perhaps?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Santa Tim

    I've been a good little consumer the last decade or so and would like the following on my wishlist for iHolidaySeason:

    - more capable and flexible iOS backup capabilities e.g. 'upload, merge & deduplicate all my backups'

    - better message content search capability than on WhatsApp, or almost any other iOS messaging app, not 'only indexing your last 20 conversations'

    - hardware that doesn't require multiple insurance cover policies to enable comfortable daily usage, e.g. one cover for explicit water, one for repeated glass breakage, and one for the Moped gangs dem innit

    - MUCH FASTER switching between 'strong-but-useless' 4G signal and 'weaker-but-actually-useable' 3G

    Yours fruitily,

    Little Seedr

  29. Call me Deckard

    I am strong, but only human

    Aw, poor Apple, Samsung...I feel your pain. Not really of course, what kind of freak would get all weepy over the market share of multi-billion dollar conglomerates dropping a dozen points? Other than the most crazed Apple fanboys probably not many, but plenty of tech obsessives and much of the media (tech and otherwise) obviously think this is Very Important news we should all know about. Well, I can tell you that although I am a resilient and strong person who is not given to gratuitous displays of emotion (ask my girlfriend if you don’t believe me) I have to admit that, despite owning no stock in ether company, I will feel just a little bit less anxious and distressed when crApple’s and Scamsung’s (sorry, couldn’t resist) market share improves. Hey, I’m only human and these things affect us all. Thank you.

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