‘It still works great’: Despite US ban, some Singapore consumers continuing to use Huawei phones

Huawei's Mate 20 Pro smartphone

Some users said that the phone could still be used as a camera, thanks to its high-quality lenses and long battery life.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Despite an initial rush for Huawei phone owners to sell their devices following the brand’s US ban, some users have chosen to hang on to their phones – with hopes that the brand will recover from its loss of access to Google services, Huawei said in a statement on Monday (June 3).

Earlier in May, the company was banned from doing business with American companies, including chipmakers Qualcomm and Micron Technology, and Google – whose Android operating system (OS) the brand’s phones run on.

Business Insider previously reported that without US suppliers, Huawei would be unable to conduct even routine maintenance and hardware replacement.

However, the company was recently reinstated in several major tech associations, including Bluetooth, the SD Association, the Wi-Fi Alliance, and Android Q Beta (for Mate 20 Pro phones only) – which will allow it to resume services like official SD and microSD support.

After news broke of the US’s blacklisting, local fans flooded the brand’s Facebook page with thousands of supportive comments, including on a post where it admitted it had suffered a difficult week.

Several users cited the company’s size, rapid rise to popularity and innovative phone features as reasons why they did not want to switch brands, with some waiting to see if the brand’s recently-announced Ark OS would be a satisfactory replacement for Android.

One phone user, 29-year old Singaporean Wen Qi, said she planned on keeping her device “because it still works great”. She added that since Huawei was “a big company”, it would likely be able to recover from the ban.

Other users said their phones could still be used as cameras, thanks to the high-quality lenses and long battery life.

Photography enthusiast Joe Lum, 46, said he liked the brand’s cameras the best out of all the phones he’d used – and despite the situation, would buy a Huawei phone “in a heartbeat”.

But while loyal fans are still holding on to their products, shops here selling second-hand Huawei phones told The Straits Times (ST) that prices have dropped sharply due to low demand.

This is despite the fact that some Huawei models, such as the P30 Pro and Mate 20 series can still access Google apps and services.

In addition, some shops are no longer buying second-hand phones from the brand.

ST’s report added that current buyers of Huawei phones are purchasing them at a steep discount, with one buyer receiving offers to sell him a Huawei P30 Pro at S$100 – 14 times less than the recommended retail price of S$1,398.

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