No chips for Huawei; Mate40 Android smartphone launch date derailed due to United States ban
Huawei is in deep trouble. The signs are visible and very troubling for the company. After it forced to dump its Kirin SoC chip due to the United States ban, the company began re-releasing old Android smartphones with Google to beat America’s security ban. But now the U.S. ban is affecting the release dates of its Mate range of Android smartphones.
Huawei is basically facing a smartphone chip shortage due to the US-sponsored export ban. It had tried placing a $700 million order with TSMC to manufacture the smartphone chips but the U.S. has apparently blocked the deal. Now, Huawei has told the other component suppliers for its Mate range of smartphones to delay their shipments.
An unnamed source from Huawei told Nikkei Nikkei Asian Review that “We now see the postponement of the mass production of Mate series will be for at least one to two months.” Huawei generally releases its flagships once a year around August-September to take on Apple’s latest iPhone release. However, this year it may find difficulties in meeting this deadline due to SoC shortage. The Chinese multination is said to be weighing in the potential supply-chain disruptions from an escalating U.S. crackdown.
As the U.S. export ban bars HiSilicon from making chips for Huawei, the is looking into alternative chip suppliers. the problem is that choosing a different chip from Qualcomm or MediaTek will mean a redesign of the entire Mate smartphone range and cause further delays.
One of the reasons to pause is that Huawei is reviewing the inventory level of its HiSilicon mobile chips and is busy verifying other mobile platforms by MediaTek and Qualcomm. But verifying other mobile platforms could lead to redesigns of the mechanical parts of the smartphones, which will take time.
The United States export ban bars American companies from selling or making tech for Huawei. The first casualty of this EO was Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) which made the Kirin SoCs for Huawei in collaboration with HiSillicon (Huawei owned) that was used in Mate range of smartphones. The Huawei dealers suggested Huawei has asked to scale back smartphone orders for 2020 by as much as 20%. This comes only days later after Huawei was crowned the smartphone king for April 2020.