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Honor remains committed to MediaTek and Qualcomm, dismisses in-house chip development

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Honor, the smartphone brand that was spun off from Huawei Technologies, clarified on Thursday, September 21, 2023, that it has no plans to develop its own system-on-a-chip (SoC) products. Instead, it will continue using core semiconductors supplied by Taiwan’s MediaTek and U.S. tech firm Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). This information was confirmed by George Zhao Ming, the Shenzhen-based company’s chief executive.

Zhao also emphasized Honor’s focus on noncore chips such as the C1, a self-developed radio frequency communication device aimed at strengthening 5G signals. The C1 chip was first integrated into Honor’s Magic5-series smartphones, which were launched in March.

On Tuesday, Zhao had commented on Honor’s strategy after the launch of the V Purse, a unique foldable-smartphone-and-handbag product. The V Purse was first unveiled earlier this month at the annual Internationale Funkaussstellung tech fair in Berlin, Germany. Zhao stated that their cooperation with MediaTek and Qualcomm provides access to the best chip solutions, thus making SoC development unnecessary.

Zhao’s comments contrast with those of Eric Xu Zhijun, deputy chairman at Huawei, who recently encouraged China to adopt more home-developed semiconductors despite their current technological lag compared to foreign-made chips. He believes increased support would eventually close this gap.

This week, Honor also addressed speculation about its research-and-development subsidiary, Shanghai Honor Intelligent Technology Development Co. The subsidiary saw its capital base expanded from 100 million yuan to 940 million yuan earlier this month, sparking rumors about an increased focus on in-house chip design. However, Honor clarified that the Shanghai entity is primarily focused on software, graphics algorithms, and communications and imaging research.

In other news related to Honor’s market position, data from IDC showed that Huawei returned as one of the top-ranked vendors in mainland China’s smartphone market in the second quarter. However, Oppo, Vivo, Honor and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) remained ahead of Huawei. Globally, Honor has seen growth in markets across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, according to Counterpoint Research data. Despite this growth, Honor did not make it into the top-five smartphone vendor rankings for the second quarter.

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