Huawei smartphone spin-off Honor has no plans to develop own advanced chips, CEO says, as Qualcomm and MediaTek offer ‘best solutions’
September 21, 2023
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Zhao said Honor’s focus will be on noncore chips such as the C1, the firm’s self-developed radio frequency communication device that was designed to strengthen 5G signals. Unveiled in March, the C1 chip was initially built into Honor’s Magic5-series smartphones, according to Chinese media reports.
“Honor’s cooperation with MediaTek and Qualcomm has made it possible for us to access the best chip solutions,” he said.
The long-time partnerships with those two suppliers allow chip platform-based optimisation for Honor’s handsets, according to a statement on Thursday from the Chinese company.
Huawei believes China’s semiconductor manufacturing technology will continue to be in catch-up mode for a long time because of US export controls, according to Xu.
Honor, meanwhile, in May set up a new subsidiary, Shanghai Honor Intelligent Technology Development Co, that operates inside the city’s coastal Lingang Free Trade Zone with a registered capital of 100 million yuan, according to business data provider Qichacha.
Earlier this month, Honor expanded the capital base of that research-and-development subsidiary to 940 million yuan, which fuelled speculation that the company would be doubling down on in-house chip design activities.
Honor on Thursday clarified that the Shanghai entity serves as one of the firm’s five research-and-development centres in China. It is primarily focused on software, graphics algorithms, and communications and imaging research, according to the company.
Zhao on Tuesday also shut down speculation that Honor, which was sold by Huawei to a consortium of agents and dealers in November 2020, could return to the telecommunications equipment giant’s fold. He said Huawei is treated as another competitor in the smartphone industry.
Globally, Honor shipments have grown across markets in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, according to Counterpoint Research. But Honor still did not crack the top-five smartphone vendor rankings in the second quarter, which was dominated by Samsung Electronics, Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, Counterpoint data showed.