HUAWEI has just been removed as a member of the SD Association, because of the Trump ban. But they got an ace up their sleeves this time – their NM Card format!
Find out how the HUAWEI NM Card format lets them bypass the SD and microSD ban, and what else HUAWEI can do moving forward!
What SD + microSD Ban?
The HUAWEI Trump ban keeps expanding its reach. Even the international SD Association has been forced to remove HUAWEI as a member.
This prevents HUAWEI and HONOR from making and selling any products that use the SD standards. Effectively, all future HUAWEI and HONOR smartphones can no longer be manufactured with microSD support.
What About Current Smartphones?
Don’t worry! Your HUAWEI and HONOR smartphones will continue to work normally with microSD cards.
These actions by the US Department of Commerce and the SD Association only apply to HUAWEI and HONOR smartphones that have not been released by 15 May 2019 onwards.
Recommended Reading : The HUAWEI Trump Ban – Everything You Need To Know!
NM Card To The Rescue!
HUAWEI now seem absolutely prescient when they released their own NM Card format together with the HUAWEI Mate20 smartphones last year.
The NM Card, or the HUAWEI Nano Memory Card in full, is 45% smaller than the microSD card. Precisely designed to mimic the shape and size of a nano SIM card, it allows for a more compact hybrid SIM tray design.
But more importantly, in the context of the Trump ban, the NM Card is a HUAWEI standard, and not a SD Association standard.
What Are Their Options?
Option A : Switch To NM Card
Thanks to their foresight in creating the NM Card standard, HUAWEI can easily replace microSD card slots with NM Card slots in their future smartphones.
Now, to be certain, the NM Card is neither cheap nor ubiquitous. The only company making and selling them is HUAWEI.
We expect HUAWEI to continue this trend, perhaps introducing NM Card into their higher mid-range devices; while simultaneously cutting prices on NM Cards.
Option B : Skip microSD Card
Switching to NM Card will not work well for their mid-range and entry-level smartphones, because the greatest appeal of microSD cards is their low cost and ubiquity.
If the Trump ban does not get resolved soon, the best option would be to skip the microSD card slot entirely and just increase the internal storage of their mid-range and entry-level smartphones.
We have already seen this trend with some Android smartphones like the OPPO R17 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi A2, and the HONOR 10. Apple iPhones never had the option in the first place, and they are still selling well!
Why Did The SD Association Remove HUAWEI?
The problem isn’t really the SD Association per se. It is the fact that the SD licence is owned and enforced by a US company, SD-3C LLC.
When the Trump Administration added HUAWEI to the Entity List, SD-3C LLC is forced to stop their licensing arrangements with HUAWEI.
Because Micron is a part owner of SD-3C LLC, technology of US origin is also involved – the same issue that forced ARM to sever business ties with HUAWEI.
Recommended Reading : The HUAWEI ARM Business Suspension – How Bad Is This?
And HUAWEI Is Back In Again
Almost as quickly and quietly as the SD Association removed HUAWEI as a member, they restored HUAWEI’s membership around 29 May 2019.
There was no official explanation for both removing HUAWEI or restoring them, all in a matter of days.
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