What you need to know
- Huawei is set to release the Mate 40 in September.
- It would be the last of its smartphones to be powered by Huawei's homegrown Kirin processors.
- Huawei is unable to build anymore as a result of the U.S. trading ban affecting its business with TSMC.
Huawei today confirmed that it would be launching the Mate 40 series later this year with its Kirin chips on board, reported by IT Home. It would be powered by the Kirin 9000, the company's most powerful set of chips so far. It'll also be its last. This comes as a result of the U.S. ban on trade with Huawei leading to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) stopping any work with Huawei and HiSilicon.
While Huawei could shrug off the lack of Google Play Services and sell phones outside the U.S. with its own App Store, the loss of TSMC was a sobering moment.
Writing about the move when it happened, Android Central's Harish Jonnalagadda noted:
That is a huge deal because the move could prevent Huawei from releasing phones altogether. Huawei uses its in-house HiSilicon unit to manufacture Kirin chipsets for its phones. HiSilicon is a fabless semiconductor, which means that while it designs new chipsets, it does not have the facilities to physically manufacture them.
That's why companies like Huawei rely on foundries like TSMC to manufacture chipsets. Without access to TSMC, Huawei just doesn't have the means to make new chipsets. And without the chipsets, there would be no phones.
It's not clear what Huawei will do next. A June report hinted that the company may be looking at MediaTek for a replacement. One way or another, 2021 is going to be another difficult year for a company with a once-bright future in the smartphone market.
The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro were the first proper Huawei flagships to ship without Google's software on board. The hardware remains excellent even in 2020, and the camera is positively stunning. The lack of the Play Store and Google apps will be a deal-breaker for many, and we expect that absence to continue to the Mate 40.
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