In the last two weeks, a lot has happened in the tech world starting with US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that effectively banned Huawei and several other Chinese companies from using the technology from US-based companies.
This ban didn’t just affect the business between the US and China but many other countries including the UK, Japan also imposed the restriction on Huawei and its subsidiaries. The Huawei ban raises a concern around the world that how much we are dependent on US technology. We listed some of the technologies that the world is dependent on the US.
1. Operating Systems (Smartphones):
When you think about Operating Systems in the smartphones, there are just two names — Android and iOS which are controlled by US companies Google and Apple respectively many tech companies have tried and failed to counter the dominance of these two OS.
Amazon tried its own OS with the Fire Phone, Samsung tried with Tizen, and the old Nokia phones which used Symbian OS but no OS was able to stand against these gigantic operating systems.
As of April 2019, Android has a market share of 74.85%, with iOS coming in second with 22.94% share of the smartphone market.
2. Operating Systems (Computers):
As of April 2019, Windows has a market share of 79.45% and macOS has a market share of 14.05% and a combined share of 93.5% of the market is under the control of Microsoft and Apple (both US companies).
Linux has a 1.63% and Chrome OS has a 1.24% market share and Linux Foundation is based in the US and Chrome OS is owned by Google.
Huawei makes its own processor Kirin chipsets which it uses in the Huawei Phones, but the Kirin and Snapdragon processor use the architecture of ARM, a UK based tech company. If you ever find Cortex mentioned in the specifications of devices that are built by ARM.
ARM also restricted its business dealings with Huawei and its subsidiaries since the US imposed the ban on Huawei.
Snapdragon processors are found in almost all of the Android devices, which is built by Qualcomm, a US-based company which shares more than 42% of the smartphone processor market.
When it comes to Personal computers Intel and AMD lead the market with Intel (73.8%) and AMD (26.1%) at the end of the Q1, 2019 in the x86 computer processors both Intel and AMD are US-based companies.
Huawei and Samsung both use the LTE and 3G modems that are made by US-based companies which means that these modems are possibly the best in the market as today.
WiFi Alliance based in US has also suspended Huawei as a member for the time being but if the ban stays Huawei will have trouble in setting up support for WiFi standards for future smartphones.
Huawei uses the storage device built by Micron a US-based company which also restricted its supplies to Huawei after the ban.
SD Association which defines standards for SD cards and microSD cards also suspended Huawei from using any of the standards set by the SD association which means Huawei can’t give microSD support on its upcoming smartphones and SD card support on its future laptops.
Huawei does have their own smartphone storage dubbed as Nano memory cards, but they are not a success since the company announced them with the Mate 20 series, and there are fewer chances that it will make it through.
Also note that the current GPS technology is fully supported by the US but this dependency may change in future as other countries like China, Russia, EU, Japan, and India are developing their own GPS system.
We listed just some technology on which the world depends on the US when one of the top tech giant Huawei has to suffer through due to ban, but what if the US does the same to other countries.