Honor, once a part of Huawei Technologies, has firmly stated that it will not be venturing into creating its own system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions. Instead, the brand intends to rely on core semiconductors supplied by Taiwanese tech company MediaTek and the US-based Qualcomm. This revelation comes directly from Honor’s Chief Executive, George Zhao Ming.
Delving into specifics, Zhao emphasized that Honor’s interest will be predominantly centered on non-core chips. A case in point is the C1, Honor’s innovative radio frequency communication device conceived to bolster 5G signals. Launched in March, this chip was integrated into Honor’s Magic5-series smartphones, as per reports from the Chinese media.
Addressing recent product developments, Zhao remarked, “We don’t have a plan to do SoC development.” This statement followed closely on the heels of Honor’s latest product launch in mainland China – a unique blend of a foldable smartphone and handbag called the V Purse. Notably, this unveiling came just a few days after Apple kickstarted pre-orders for its iPhone 15 series. The starting price of Honor’s V Purse is 5,999 yuan (approximately US$822).
Zhao also highlighted the profound collaboration between Honor, MediaTek, and Qualcomm. He said, “Honor’s cooperation with MediaTek and Qualcomm has made it possible for us to access the best chip solutions.” Through these enduring associations with its chip suppliers, Honor has harnessed optimization based on chip platforms for its mobile devices.
Interestingly, Zhao’s perspective contrasts with the narrative emanating from Honor’s erstwhile parent company, Huawei. Huawei, in a spirited display of nationalism, launched its 5G smartphones, the Mate 60 Pro and Mate 60 Pro+, powered by advanced processors that are entirely made-in-China. These products symbolize China’s resilience against the stringent US tech sanctions. Eric Xu Zhijun, deputy chairman of Huawei, recently advocated for China to invest more in locally-made semiconductors, even if they currently trail behind foreign-developed counterparts. He believes that with adequate backing, China can bridge this technological gap.
Xu also opined that due to US export regulations, China’s semiconductor production tech will likely play catch-up for a significant period.
In related developments, Honor, in May, established a new offshoot, Shanghai Honor Intelligent Technology Development Co, situated within Shanghai’s coastal Lingang Free Trade Zone. Recent capital influx into this subsidiary stirred speculations regarding Honor’s intentions to intensify its chip design endeavors. Addressing this, Honor clarified that the Shanghai-based unit operates as one of its five R&D hubs in China, predominantly zeroing in on software, graphics algorithms, and communication and imaging research.
Shutting down speculations about Honor’s potential reintegration with Huawei, Zhao unequivocally stated that Huawei is perceived as just another competitor in the smartphone landscape.