Huawei launches new flagship phone but who made its chips?

Embattled Chinese tech giant Huawei quietly launched the Mate 60 Pro in China but has omitted any reference to its application and baseband processors from the published spec sheet.

We’re not aware of any press releases on the matter, even in Chinese, let alone a launch event. Nonetheless you can find out all about this new device on the Chinese version of Huawei’s consumer-focused site. Well, not quite all. Conspicuous by its absence in the spec sheet is any mention of either the processor or network support. In contrast, the spec sheet for the P60 Pro goes into exhaustive detail on those matters.

Radio Free Mobile speculates that the main reason for the omissions was to disguise the fact that the phone doesn’t support 5G connectivity. Meanwhile Reuters reports that Chinese chip stocks have rallied on the hope that Huawei has managed to make a competitive phone entirely using domestic semiconductor resources.

US sanctions against Huawei have prevented it from buying chips from the likes of Qualcomm or Mediatek, or even getting its own Kirin chips manufactured by non-Chinese foundries. So it seems likely that Huawei has turned to SMIC to make its Kirin chips, but that would mean they were manufactured on much older processes than offered by, for example, TSMC, thus making the device underpowered. And, to the best of our knowledge, there are no Chinese 5G modem makers either.

Huawei Central has got hold of evidence that the Mate 60 Pro does indeed sport a Kirin 9000s chip but we haven’t seen anything that sheds light on the modem situation. Nonetheless, some in China are treating this as a significant act of defiance. It feels like the launch of the Mate 60 Pro is more of a symbolic gesture than a serious commercial initiative, but even that’s probably enough to trouble US China hawks.


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  1. Avatar màn hình led 30/08/2023 @ 2:24 pm

    Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro launch sparks positive speculation about its use of domestic semiconductor resources. Despite challenges, the launch symbolizes the company’s resilience and potential impact on the tech industry.

  2. Avatar Tino Ferrigno 30/08/2023 @ 5:35 pm

    We have been denied the best smartphone in the UK due to a protectionist US of A

  3. Avatar CZL 30/08/2023 @ 11:15 pm

    Huawei Mate 60 Pro does have 5G support, there are plenty of pictures and videos on Chinese social media that testify it.

  4. Avatar ZenMaster 30/08/2023 @ 11:24 pm

    Yes, it’s indeed 5G capable, by Huawei’s own 5G chip made by SMIC, the Chinese semiconductor manufacturer.

  5. Avatar Frank 31/08/2023 @ 2:19 am

    That’s a nice gesture from Raimondo.

  6. Avatar JPack 01/09/2023 @ 9:09 am

    The reason for the unscripted product launch is to coincide with the visit by Gina M. Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce. Huawei obviously intended to launch later, closer to iPhone in September. Huawei deliberately played coy with 5G support to tease Americans. In China, the phone was clearly advertised with 5G support in Huawei retail stores. This is blatantly obvious.

    We saw this exact scenario play out a decade ago with Robert Gates. As Secretary of Defense, he visited China when the country was sanctioned from purchasing arms. China deliberately timed the visit and brought out the J-20 stealth fighter for a test flight.

    It’s a symbolic middle finger.

  7. Avatar Julian Pyke 02/09/2023 @ 12:35 am

    Its significance goes beyond a phone. It’s a showcase for an entire domestic semiconductor ecosystem and AI and 5G capable Chinese industry, an effort deriving from the alleged US tech bully and suppression. Even viewing just from a smart phone perspective, a smooth 5G operation (unlike iPhone, which alleged to be 5G capable but is not, Huwei is indeed 5G capable but deliberately refrains from saying so), direct satellite link phone calls without the need of any telecoms network, and impeccable foldable-screen technology already mastered by the company, iPhone is probably more than 2 generations behind on specs and gadget. It’s a shame – we used to be way ahead…

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