Huawei Technologies Co (華為) largely omitted mention of its controversial Mate 60 smartphone series at a grand showcase of its new consumer products yesterday.
The Shenzhen-based company would increase smartphone production in response to demand, said consumer division chief Richard Yu (余承東), without naming the handset triggering that surge.
The Mate 60 Pro earned international notoriety with its advanced made-in-China processor last month, causing concern in Washington about Huawei’s progress toward developing in-house chipmaking capabilities despite US trade curbs.
Huawei’s new phones have fired up the company’s sales and were among the top sellers in China in the week before Apple Inc’s latest iPhone launch. They are the first 5G-capable handsets that Huawei has put on sale since the administration of former US president Donald Trump’s sanctions cut it off from advanced tech suppliers. That connectivity is provided by the 7-nanometer Kirin 9000s processor inside — made by Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (中芯) — which is accompanied by a broad range of China-made components inside each phone.
In another step toward self-reliance, Huawei did away with its longstanding partnership with Porsche Design, appointing instead Hong Kong celebrity Andy Lau (劉德華) as a brand ambassador to promote what it now calls Ultimate Design models.
Huawei provided a seconds-long glimpse of such a limited-edition variant of its Mate 60, and showed off its flagship MatePad tablet and new smartwatches.
Yu spent much of his time on stage benchmarking the MatePad Pro against Apple’s iPad Pro, underscoring Huawei’s aspiration to measure itself against the world’s best.
The Chinese company also touted its own semiconductor design used in a new set of wireless earbuds, though it did not provide details on the chip.
Meanwhile, Apple’s basic iPhone 15 model is taking almost twice as long for deliveries this year than its predecessor, signaling high demand for the company’s latest handsets.
US buyers need to wait for 10 days to receive the basic model, up from six days for the previous generation device launched last year, Counterpoint Research data showed.
At the other end of the spectrum, Apple’s top-tier iPhone 15 Pro Max increased pre-order waiting times to a record, researchers found.
In China, Apple’s largest overseas market, wait times for the basic version quadrupled from last year, Counterpoint said.
That suggests Apple is attracting buyers even amid competition from rival devices such as Huawei’s highly touted Mate 60 Pro.
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