What Do the New Huawei Mate Series Phones Mean for the Chinese Smartphone Market

Huawei Mate 60 Pro+

Huawei has released four new Mate phones. We already have detailed reports on each of them. But for those who missed it, they are the Huawei Mate 60, Mate 60 Pro, Mate 60 Pro+, and Mate X5. Nonetheless, these new releases have drawn global attention to the technologies inside the devices.

More importantly, the new Huawei Mate phones indicate that the Chinese company has successfully overcome the U.S. sanctions. With this, Huawei could eventually come back up and become a rival for Apple. Huawei has even done the pricing competitively. The regular Mate 60 costs 5,999 Yuan, which is the same pricing as the Apple iPhone 14 in China.

But to really understand how much of a threat the new Huawei Mate series is, you need to have a clear idea of the phone’s standout features and the component suppliers.

Enhanced Connectivity

One of the key highlights of the new Huawei Mate phones is that they come with satellite communications. While Apple iPhones already have it, Huawei took things to the next level. The new Huawei phones can not only send texts through satellite but also make voice calls.

This feature will enable users to easily communicate even in areas where the network coverage is very limited. As a result, the new Huawei Mate phones have become a better choice than the Apple iPhones for those who often find themselves adventuring in unknown and challenging territories.

Satellite Connectivity Huawei Mate 60 Pro+

Moving on, 5G connectivity is basically the thing that has made the new Huawei Mate phones catch global attention. Following the U.S. ban, Huawei faced restrictions to use advanced components manufactured by TSMC and other manufacturing giants. But Huawei has managed to overcome that ban by utilizing its own custom SoC.

While Huawei didn’t disclose much information regarding the brand-new Kirin 9000S, user reports are showing promising results. The new Huawei Mate 60, equipped with the new custom SoC, exceeds 5G speed tests. Chinese buyers have already started to compare the network speed with the Apple iPhone 14.

Suppliers of the New Huawei Mate Phone’s Components

I’ve made a detailed report on the Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 9000S. In that report, I’ve uncovered that the new custom chipset is from SMIC. And for those who are unaware, SMIC is a partially state-owned Chinese semiconductor foundry company.

Huawei Kirin 9000S

In addition, the molds of the new Huawei Mate come from Dongguan Chitwing Technology Co. Ltd, another Chinese company. Also, the display comes from a Suzhou-based display maker called Visionox Technology.

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Both of them are existing suppliers of Huawei and saw a rise in share by 10% and 15%, respectively. However, the new Huawei Mate phones do not use Chinese-made components only.

According to a teardown of the Huawei Mate 60 by TechInsights, the phone comes with SK Hynix’s DRAM and NAND components. And as you may already know, SK Hynix is a South Korean company. So, does this mean SK Hynix is still doing business with Huawei?

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SK Hynix DRAM Market

Well, SK Hynix has made an official announcement regarding this. The company said that it has not been in business with Huawei since the U.S. ban, which took into full effect in 2019. No one knows how Huawei acquired SK Hynix components for the new Mate phones. But SK Hynix has reported that it is investigating the matter.

But, yes, Huawei is utilizing more Chinese-made components than before for the new Mate phones. And through this, it’s quite clear that Huawei plans to be fully independent, not depending on the manufacturers of the foreign lands.

What Could the New Huawei Mate Phones Mean for China’s Smartphone Market?

Prior to the U.S. ban, Huawei held a significant market share in smartphone sales. It got to a point where Huawei’s sales started to threaten the dominance of Samsung and Apple. However, the market share of Huawei steadily slumped after the U.S. cut Huawei’s access to chip-making tools essential to manufacturing the most advanced smartphones.

For that reason, Huawei was forced to use 4G components only before the new Mate phones. That made its market share in China fall to 11% from 27%. And you may already know that China has the world’s largest smartphone market. Huawei was also forced to sell its budget brand, Honor, in what Huawei described as a bid to ensure the brand’s survival.

The U.S. restrictions made Apple rise to the top in the Chinese smartphone market. It stood as the main premium smartphone maker in the region. Over the same period, Apple’s market share in China went from 11% to 19%. But things might change with the new Huawei Mate phones.

Apple iPhones

Min-Chi Kuo, a reputable industry analyst, predicts that the Huawei Mate 60 Pro will ship between 5.5 million to 6 million in the second half of this year. These sales numbers are 20% higher than the previously planned volumes.

Moreover, the cumulative shipments of the Mate 60 Pro could reach at least 12 million units in the upcoming 12 months. All of these spell trouble for existing premium phones in China, which are mostly Apple iPhones.

Still, we’re in a very early phase to accurately predict the condition of the Chinese smartphone market. After all, only the Huawei Mate 60 and Mate 60 Pro are on sale. The rest of the devices are still on pre-orders. But yes, considering that the new announcements of Huawei are being received well by internet users, the market could take a shift in favor of Huawei.

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