ZTE was recently found guilty of selling US products to those in Iran and North Korea and for that reason, received a sanction yesterday which prevented them from sourcing components for their upcoming devices in the States. That effectively put an end to their relationship with Qualcomm – for the next seven years at least – and it seems they might be in trouble with the Android OS too.
Since Alphabet Inc. (the company that owns Google, which in turns owns the Android OS) is a US-registered company it means that ZTE would have issues in using the company’s software on its upcoming devices.
Likewise, the Axon line of smartphones which are usually launched to the US may be scrapped altogether.
The good news here is that Android has always been an open source software, meaning the company could go on to use it on their devices. What should be noted is that they won’t be able to use Google stock apps such as the Play Store and surely not be entitled to building with the Google Mobile Service (GMS) package.
For now, there is nothing official on how both companies will proceed. All we know is that they are currently in talks to see how the agreement can keep working out. Should the talks fall through, that will be a bigger blow to ZTE who have not only lost one of its biggest markets and choice chipsets, but support of the single largest mobile operating system in the world.