Honor’s Smartphones Will Use Qualcomm’s Chip

Honor’s Smartphones Will Use Qualcomm’s Chip

Forbes·2021-05-24 18:00

George Zhao, CEO of Honor Device Co. Ltd, speaking at Qualcomms summit in China. HonorAs recently as a couple of years ago, Huawei smartphones were the number two best sellers in the industry worldwide, and number one in its home country by miles. But then U.S. sanctions hit, and now Huaweis smartphone sales are in a free fall. This led to the Chinese tech giant selling off its sub-brand Honor last November, which Huawei reps said at the time was a decision made to ensure Honors survival. Looks like the plan is working. After weeks of rumors, Honor officially confirmed last Friday that it has secured a deal with U.S. chip giant Qualcomm to use the latters silicon. This fixes one of two problems crippling Huaweis smartphones right nowthe lack of chip supply after Washington cut off Huaweis access to vendors. Speaking at the live event Qualcomm China Tech Day in Shanghai last Friday, Honors CEO George Zhao said reaching out to Qualcomm was one of the very first things on his agenda after the sale was finalized. As a new company, we had to initiate discussions with suppliers, which we did [right away with Qualcomm], Zhao said, adding that the San Diego-based silicon company conducted a strict and thorough certification process before reaching an agreement with Honor. Almost immediately after the deal was struck, Zhao said, Honor worked closely with Qualcomm. The result is that Honors next smartphone will be the first phone in the world to use Qualcomms new Snapdragon 778G chip. George Zhao on stage at Qualcomms China event. HonorNot much information is known about Honors next phone yet, but Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 778G during its event in Shanghai. Essentially, it is a 6nm chip with an integrated 5G modem and three ISP (image signal processors), which means in terms of processing power, its not too far off from Qualcomms flagship Snapdragon 888 silicon. Our team only had six months to work with Qualcomm to [get the Snapdragon 778G in the product], which is a process that usually takes 12 months, Zhao said. I couldnt be more prouder of our team for being able to pull it off.Zhao said Honor is planning another device with Qualcomm that will be a flagship, which will likely be the Snapdragon 888+ due for unveiling later this summer. So Honor phones solved the silicon problem plaguing Huawei phones; but what about the second problemthe lack of Google Mobile Services due to U.S. sanctions? While Zhao wouldnt comment on record that Honor phones will be able to use Googles services, it sounds like that is all but a done deal. We have every intention to release smartphones outside of China this year, Zhao said. We are clear of [the needs of] users outside China when it comes to software, and will provide the best possible solution at the time of release.Honor has always been an unsung hero for Huaweiit was Honors fast growth in the budget and mid-range sector that allowed Huawei to move enough units to surpass Apple as the worlds second-best selling phone company in 2019. Now that Honor is on its own and could potentially get access to Google back, the brand could regain past glorythis time for itself.

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