Chinese smartphone giant Huawei Technologies announced plans on Thursday to hold a media event later this month to discuss new products.
Huawei did not elaborate on the new products it will discuss but Chinese business daily Yicai reported the smartphone-maker was likely to disclose information about its latest phones.
The event, set to be held on September 25, is sure to be keenly watched by market analysts and Huawei supporters, who are looking for greater details on the China-made advanced chip that powers the newly launched Mate 60 series.
The 7nm chip, developed by state-backed chipmaker SMIC, is being seen as crucial breakthrough for China’s domestic chipmaking abilities, amid an attempt by the United States to throttle the country’s semiconductor industry.
But some local analysts have warned that the new phone is only a partial breakthrough because it relies on two memory chips made by South Korea’s SK Hynix.
Huawei, once believed to have been crippled by US sanctions implemented in 2019, started selling its latest high-end smartphones Mate 60 and Mate 60 Pro at the end of last month.
Last week it started pre-sales for its Mate 60 Pro+ smartphone alongside a new foldable phone Mate X5, fanning belief that it had bounced back from those sanctions.
‘Crucial’ technology clarification
However, it is crucial for Huawei to provide clarification on its technology, given the high level of market interest in its smartphones, Nicole Peng, Senior VP of Mobility at Canalys, has previously said.
The Mate 60 series‘ launch was unusual in that Huawei did not carry out any pre-marketing or organise a glitzy event. The phones caused a stir, nevertheless, with the first sales coinciding with a trip to China by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
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The state-backed Securities Times this week reported that Huawei had raised its Mate 60 series second-half shipment target by 20% due to better-than-expected sales.
Huawei’s ability to cater to such high demand is being seen as win in itself for the smartphone maker. The company had been able to sell only limited batches of 5G models using stockpiled chips, after the 2019 sanctions that saw the US restricting its tech exports to the company.
Huawei vs Apple
Huawei’s planned event comes on the heels of Apple’s iPhone 15 launch event held on Tuesday, which received mixed reactions in China, with social media users pitting the US smartphone giant against its Chinese rival.
While many online users liked iPhone 15 for its faster chip and improved gaming capabilities, others said they preferred Huawei’s new smartphone, expressing reservations about choosing an American brand.
How Huawei’s phones will fare against Apple at a time of heightened US-Sino tensions will be of much interest to investors and China watchers.
Beijing has also reportedly expanded curbs on the use of iPhones by state employees, with some told not to use them at work — a move that could further dent Apple’s sheen in China. The country’s authoritarian government has, however, denied such a ban.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena