The Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro may be the swansong for HiSilicon Kirin, but Huawei is eying up Qualcomm processors as replacements
The Mate 40 series will probably be the last devices to feature HiSilicon Kirin chipsets, as we reported yesterday. Announced at a Summit in China, Huawei Consumer Business CEO Yu Chengdong stated that the company would cease manufacturing Kirin chips after September 15. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the cessation of Huawei's in-house chip development has been brought about by US trade sanctions. In May, it was reported that TSMC had cut off Huawei and would not be fulfilling any new Kirin orders. The shift coincided with TSMC announcing that it had agreed on plans to create a 5 nm chip foundry in the US. TSMC then confirmed this last month, which came as no surprise.
According to AnTuTu, Yu bragged that Huawei would have overtaken Samsung last year on smartphone shipments but for US trade sanctions. Naturally, that claim could have only been based on projections, but Huawei has remained competitive with other OEMs despite the restrictions that the US has placed on the company.
The prospect of no new Kirin chipsets does not spell the end for Huawei's smartphone, tablet and wearable divisions, though. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Qualcomm is lobbying the US government for the right to trade with Huawei. Qualcomm would need to be granted a licence to do so, but Micron and Microsoft received such licences last year after successful lobbying.
Qualcomm argues that ongoing trade sanctions would cause it to lose billions of dollars in sales to overseas competitors. Whether this approach has proven successful with the US government remains to be seen, but it would give a US company scope to improve its market share massively.