(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co.’s Kirin 9000s processor supports 5G wireless speeds, TechInsights said, dispelling some of the mystery around the Chinese company’s latest devices.
The Mate 60 smartphone series powered by that Kirin chip sold more than 300,000 units in its first two weeks on sale in China, according to Counterpoint Research data. It was second on China’s sales charts the week before Apple Inc.’s latest iPhone launch, riding a wave of patriotism and excitement around its advanced made-in-China processor.
Huawei has kept mum on a number of key specs and features of the devices, such as whether they’re capable of achieving 5G cellular speeds. Even the phones’ internal software does not disclose the particular networking standards supported. Testing by Bloomberg News showed 5G speeds and TechInsights affirmed the finding after its latest rounds of teardowns of Huawei’s devices.
The Mate 60 phones are Huawei’s first 5G devices since US sanctions derailed the Shenzhen-based company’s consumer business three years ago. The new 5G capabilities suggest Huawei has managed to break free from American technologies in a key area. Global smartphone makers rely on companies such as Skyworks Solutions Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. for wireless communications chips.
Huawei has now revealed four phone models powered by the Kirin chip: the Mate 60, Mate 60 Pro, Mate 60 Pro+ and a foldable Mate X5 device. The Mate X5 appears to be very similar to its Mate X3 introduced earlier in the year, just upgraded with the Kirin chip. That preponderance of devices suggests Huawei is confident about its ability to produce the chips — fabricated by Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. — in high volumes, according to Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam.
“The Huawei Mate 60 series garnered significant attention in the Chinese market before the launch of the iPhone 15 series,” Lam said. “Huawei is the only formidable competitor to the iPhone, which dominates the above-$600 segment in the Chinese market.”
--With assistance from Gao Yuan.
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