Upcoming model likely to be powered by chipsets from MediaTek
Chinese mainland gadget maker Honor will unveil its first smartphone on Jan 18 after leaving Huawei Technologies Co, with the new model likely to be powered by chipsets from MediaTek.
The move comes at a time when Honor is striving to rebuild its supply chains after gaining full independence from Huawei, said experts.
Honor said that its online and offline retailing platforms will start taking pre-orders for the V40 smartphone series from Friday. The new phones, scheduled to be unveiled on Jan 18, are expected to be powered by MediaTek's Dimensity 1000+ chips, sources familiar with the matter told China Daily.
Taiwan-based chipmaker MediaTek said in a statement on Thursday that Honor is a newly established independent company and MediaTek is evaluating the current situation when asked about its cooperation prospects with Honor.
MediaTek has cooperation with many original equipment manufacturers and is committed to bringing leading technology to customers and consumers around the world, it said.
Honor was sold by Huawei in November to a Chinese consortium of over 30 agents and dealers to ensure the brand's survival. Huawei, which was facing severe pressure due to the persistent unavailability of technical components needed for its mobile phone business, had decided to hive off the Honor brand.
Industrial Securities, a Chinese securities company, said in a research note that Honor could obtain chips from Qualcomm and MediaTek as it is no longer a part of Huawei. However, due to the current shortage of chips in the global smartphone industry, a large number of shipments to Honor are likely to be resumed in the second half of this year.
Multiple Chinese financial media outlets including Caixin quoted sources from supply chains as saying that Honor's new smartphones based on Qualcomm's 5G chips are already in progress, and the new products are expected to be launched around May and June 2021. "Honor starts with midrange smartphones", Caixin said.
Honor and Qualcomm did not respond to requests for comments.
Qualcomm said in December that it was holding discussions with Honor when asked whether it would ship chips to the latter.
Last month, Honor announced that it had signed a global cooperation agreement with US tech giant Microsoft Corp, under which it will use Microsoft Windows 10 as the official operating system in its laptops.
The move is likely to pave the way for more partnerships in the near future such as the one anticipated with US chip giant Qualcomm Inc, to better solve Honor's supply chain issues. This showcases foreign companies' welcoming attitude toward the new company, experts said.
Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association, said the partnership with Microsoft showcases the US company's recognition of Honor as a new company.
"With one US company partnering with Honor, more US companies are likely to be on board in the near future, which can better solve Honor's supply chain issues," Xiang said.