Ever since the US government banned Huawei from doing business with US companies, the company has been trying to find ways to survive. One of those ways included developing their own mobile operating system called HarmonyOS.
The company has since been working on newer versions, such as HarmonyOS Next, which was revealed earlier this year in the summer. Now according to Huawei's Richard Yu, HarmonyOS Next is close to release which is good news, but there is one thing users should note and that is the update will drop support for Android apps.
Prior to this, users who had Huawei phones with HarmonyOS could still download and run Android apps (just not Google's apps), but with HarmonyOS Next, the company is dropping Android libraries support. We kind of get what Huawei is trying to do, which is create their own mobile OS that can stand on its own two feet.
The problem with this move is that by removing Android app support, there might be users who will find it difficult to use their Huawei phones since some of their favorite apps may no longer be available, or a HarmonyOS version hasn't been created yet. This could create issues for the platform's viability as we have seen in the past with other mobile operating systems like Windows Phone.
Without a robust ecosystem, users won't want to adopt it, and developers won't want to develop for it since there aren't that many people using it - it's a vicious cycle. Maybe Huawei's branding and user base is large enough where this won't pose a problem.
Late last month, Huawei made a surprise announcement when they took the wraps off their brand new Mate 60 Pro smartphone. Why was this announcement surprising? It was surprising because the phone contains a brand new 7nm chipset that came with 5G technology that was manufactured by China's SMIC.
Now according to a statement put out by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, it seems that Huawei's claims might have been a bit exaggerated. Raimondo was quoted as saying, "We don't have any evidence that they can manufacture seven-nanometer (chips) at scale."
This doesn't mean that they don't believe that Huawei and SMIC could have developed this chip. It's more like if such a breakthrough chipset were developed, the US government doesn't think that Huawei or SMIC has the capability to manufacture the chipset at scale, at least not enough for it to be particularly significant.
This is an important distinction because new technology is being developed all the time. Battery tech is a good example, where over the years we've seen a multitude of new battery technology that is supposed to be the answer to our lithium-ion problems. The only problem is that while the tech exists, producing it on a large scale for it to be commercialized is a different story.
While 5G phones aren't new, but the main reason why we haven't seen the tech in Huawei's phones is due to the ongoing export ban against Huawei, where the Chinese company is not allowed to do business with US based companies. They are also not allowed to use components that might contain US intellectual properties.
To that end, the Commerce Department says that they are working on obtaining more information about the chipset and whether it might have violated trade restrictions. Other departments within the US government have also urged the Commerce Department to stop granting licenses to both Huawei and SMIC.
Prior to the US sanctions against Huawei, the company was making huge waves and many had predicted that with their success, they had the potential to overthrow the likes of Apple and Samsung, but obviously those plans fell through.
But now according to a report from IT Home, they claim that Huawei is now poised to make a global comeback and has "comprehensive plans" to do so, and this is largely thanks to the successful development of the Kirin 9000S chipset which was apparently made without violating the sanctions against them.
For those unfamiliar, the sanctions placed against Huawei effectively prevented them from working with US companies and companies that relied on US technology and patents. This meant that a lot of Huawei's plans, especially for 5G, could not be realized until the arrival of the Kirin 9000S, Huawei's first 5G chipset that was manufactured by China's own SMIC.
The chipset made its debut in the recently-announced Mate 60 series of phones, and while it might seem like it's "lagging" behind the competition in terms of its fabrication, it's a good start. The report claims that the Mate 60 Pro will not be debuting globally, but future handsets might. So, if you've been a fan of Huawei's hardware, this could be something to look forward to.
Huawei has a couple of foldable phones under its belt, and it looks like they've added one more to their lineup in the form of a brand new Huawei Mate X5. This handset was launched in China, albeit without much fanfare.
In terms of hardware, the Mate X5 comes with a 7.85-inch LTPO OLED display and a 6.4-inch OLED LTPO display on the outside. The phone is offered in 12GB or 16GB RAM variants, with 512GB of storage, but as for its chipset of choice, the company has not mentioned what it will be using.
On the camera side of things, the Mate X5 will feature a triple camera setup. This includes the use of a 50MP sensor for the main shooter, a 13MP sensor with an ultrawide lens, and lastly, a 12MP sensor for the periscope camera, while the front-facing shooter is of the 8MP variety.
Other specs include a 5,060mAh battery with support for 66W wired charging and 50W wireless, and all the usual Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity options you might expect from a modern smartphone. If you're hoping to see the Mate X5 outside of China, that might be tough, but there are so many other foldable options out there that you can choose from already.
While Huawei's presence in the western markets has diminished quite a bit over the years, ever since the US sanctioned the company, that doesn't mean that they have stopped operating. In fact, in many countries, particularly in Asia, the company is still doing pretty well as their phones, laptops, and tablets are popular.
That being said, Huawei has surprised everyone with the launch of their latest smartphone, the Huawei Mate 60 Pro. We say surprised because usually when a company launches a new phone, it would be preceded by teasers and an announcement of when the launch will take place, but none of this happened with the company's latest phone.
In terms of hardware, the Mate 60 Pro is packing a 6.82-inch 10-bit LTPO OLED screen with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. On the back, Huawei's familiar circular camera cutout can be found where it features a triple camera setup consisting of a 50MP main shooter, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 448MP telephoto.
The phone also packs a 5,000mAh battery with support for 88W wired and 50W wireless charging, and runs on Huawei's very own HarmonyOX 4.0 out of the box. There was no mention of chipset, but seeing as the sanctions prevents US companies from doing business with Huawei, we're guessing it would either be Huawei's own Kirin chipset or maybe a chipset by another Chinese manufacture such as MediaTek.
As for its pricing, the Huawei Mate 60 Pro will be priced at $960 for the model with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, and at this time it appears to be only available in China.