Huawei's Mate 50 series to launch on Sep 6, signals recovery despite US ban: analyst
Published: Aug 22, 2022 10:26 PM
A view of a Huawei store in Central China's Henan Province in November 2020 Photo: cnsphoto
A view of a Huawei store in Central China's Henan Province in November 2020 File Photo: cnsphoto

Chinese tech giant Huawei said on Monday that it will launch the long-awaited high-end Mate 50 smartphone series on September 6, which industry observers said may signal a gradual recovery of what was once the world's No. 2 smartphone maker. The launch may also come the day before that of Apple's new series, demonstrating the company's confidence despite US sanctions.

"Two years later, Mate 50 will finally come… we've been marching forward despite headwinds, exploring breakthroughs in technology AND finally bringing you the annual flagship of the Huawei Mate 50 series," Richard Yu, executive director and CEO of the Consumer BG, posted on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo account on Monday.

The event was themed "Breaking Dawn, Meeting at the Peak."

According to industry analysts and media reports, several models are expected to be launched during the event, which might be the Huawei Mate 50, Mate 50 Pro and Mate 50 RS.

"The phones are expected to be equipped with the HarmonyOS operating system, probably with some carrying its self-developed HiSilicon Kirin 9000S processors, and some chips might from Qualcomm - but none of them will support 5G functions, due to US sanctions," predicted Xiang Ligang, a close follower of Huawei and a veteran industry analyst.

"Or it is also possible that Qualcomm will be its sole supplier," Xiang told the Global Times on Monday, cautioning that the unavailability of using its own chips may "kind of" dampen the popularity and performance of the smartphone.

Bloomberg reported that Apple's new iPhone 14 series may be released on September 7, a date earlier than scheduled and one day after Huawei, indicating a head-to-head competition between the two industry giants.

Apple literally has no competitor in the high-end market after Huawei was sanctioned, but sitting in the "top spot" for too long has left it unavailable to innovate. Huawei's "comeback" may bring some fresh air to the industry, Xiang said.

"Huawei and Apple are the only two smartphone makers in the world that have their own operating systems and self-developed chips," Xiang noted.

If the Huawei Mate 50 series gets a good market response, it should be encouraging to other domestic high-end smartphone makers, which will help reduce the impact of the downward cycle of the consumer electronics market, said Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, a financial services group in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report by domestic news portal

Overall Chinese smartphone sales in April-June fell 14.2 percent year-on-year and sank to a decade low. Apple's market share in China rose slightly to 15.5 percent in the quarter even as its sales volume dropped 5.8 percent, a Counterpoint Research report said, a smaller blow compared with Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo.

Global Times