BNR – Huawei Technologies, has taken the tech world by surprise with its latest flagship smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro.
Priced at 6,999 yuan (equivalent to $964), the smartphone was quietly released for online sales, bypassing the usual pre-launch advertising. This unexpected move has ignited widespread speculation, particularly regarding the device’s 5G capabilities.
Huawei’s journey to this launch has been marred by US government restrictions. The US measures severely limited the company’s access to chipmaking tools necessary for crafting cutting-edge smartphones.
Consequently, Huawei could only sell a limited number of 5G models, utilising stockpiled chips. Notably, the US and several European countries have raised concerns about Huawei’s perceived security risks, allegations the company unequivocally refutes.
Comeback Despite Ongoing US Restrictions
The repercussions of these restrictions were significant, causing Huawei’s consumer business, once a competitor with Apple and Samsung, to diminish. Interestingly, it peaked at a staggering 483 billion yuan in 2020 before plummeting nearly by half within a year.
However, Huawei has been vocal about its determination to stage a comeback. In July, research firms said that they believed Huawei was plotting its return to the 5G smartphone arena by year-end.
The company aimed to leverage its in-house developments in semiconductor design tools, along with chip production assistance from China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co (SMIC).
Potential Technological Breakthrough from Huawei
Should Huawei, in partnership with China, master the creation of its own 5G chips, it would signify a technological breakthrough. Additionally, this achievement could potentially undermine US efforts to curb Huawei’s technological advancements.
The clandestine launch of the Mate 60 Pro has left the tech community guessing about its features, particularly 5G support.
Huawei’s ability to navigate the challenging landscape of chip shortages and US sanctions and bring a competitive 5G smartphone to market has wide-reaching implications for the technology industry and geopolitical dynamics. As the world awaits further information, Huawei’s surprise move has set the stage for an intense international guessing game.