Cooperation between Qualcomm, Honor is possible: analyst

By GT staff reporters Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/2 19:21:56

Huawei Honor 9X unveiling ceremony in July, 2019 Photo: Xinhua

With US chipset giant Qualcomm unveiling its most advanced mobile platform, there's increasing attention as to whether Honor, the recently divested smartphone sub-brand of Huawei, can secure supplies from Qualcomm.

Some analysts said that the US chipmaker might supply Honor and the cooperation could be expected in the near future, while others said it's too early to conclude that the new Honor will avoid the sanctions that the Trump administration imposed on Huawei.

Following the launch of the Snapdragon 888 on Tuesday, which is Qualcomm's latest high-end chipset with a 5G modem for Android phones, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said "We see this as the potential to have even more innovation in the market, more choices for consumers," when asked by the media about Honor's appearance as a new player in the market.

"We like the dynamic of the China mobile ecosystem, and we are very eager with the opportunity to partner and work with Honor. As we stand, everything is new, as you know, we initiated the dialogue and we are excited about the opportunity in the future," Amon said.

Huawei officially announced the divestment of Honor in November, selling it to a consortium including more than 30 Honor agents and dealers. The self-preservation move was widely believed to be aimed at surviving the US supply ban that has targeted Huawei.

Huawei's founder Ren Zhengfei said at a farewell party for Honor last week that he hoped the new company would use global industrial resources to the utmost, and establish relations with suppliers as soon as possible. At a recent internal meeting, senior executives of Honor said the company will increase its expansion in physical channels.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Wednesday that it's likely Qualcomm and Honor will team up based on mutual demand. 

Honor should be treated equally with other Chinese smartphone vendors like Xiaomi, Vivo and OPPO, which have long-established business ties with Qualcomm, Xiang noted.

Before the Qualcomm launch event had come to an end, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announced on Weibo that the company's new flagship Mi 11 smartphone will be the first terminal to be released with Snapdragon 888.

Given the bullying and discriminatory nature of US sanctions, it is still too early to jump to the conclusion that the new Honor will be exempt from the ban the US government has imposed on its former parent company, according to Geng Bo, a vice secretary-general of the China Solid State Lighting Alliance, a semiconductor industry association.

"It will take some time for the US to identify the new company's structure, to see if any residual relations exist with Huawei," Geng said, adding that Honor is still reliant on the supply and channel resources of Huawei at the moment.

Huawei holds no stake in the new Honor company, according to a joint statement from Honor's buyer.

Qualcomm recently received permission from the US to sell 4G mobile chipsets to Huawei, but not yet for 5G, said Amon. "We've also received licenses for computing products and Wi-Fi products. So we have been receiving licenses for engaging with Huawei."

"Obviously, we are anxious to engage with some of the premium chipsets that have 5G capabilities with Huawei, and we are waiting to see if those licenses are provided so that we can engage with those products as well," he added.

Newspaper headline: Qualcomm-Honor cooperation possible: analyst


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