Huawei launches 5G handsets

Huawei Technologies has announced the release of its first 5G smartphone for commercial use in Shenzhen. The Huawei Mate 20 X (5G), priced at RMB6,199 (about US$900), will be available from August 16 and pre-orders will open from July 26. 

The new phone is powered by the Huawei Kirin 980 chipset and equipped with its in-house HiSilicon Balong 5000 5G modem, which makes it the first phone model that supports both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) 5G networks, the company said.

According to a report by research company Canalys, China will lead global sales of 5G smartphones, making up 34 percent of global shipments of 800 million units by 2023, a turning point when 5G smartphones are expected to outsell 4G handsets.

Huawei also said at the launch event at its Shenzhen headquarters that it would unveil TV-like products called “Smart Screens” next month, which will be the first products based on its proprietary Hongmeng OS. The company previously hinted that the operating system could replace Google’s Android, though a senior executive earlier this month said Huawei intends to continue to use Android, and that Hongmeng is not an operating system for smartphones but for connected devices.

Huawei is set to report its half-year results tomorrow. Analysts said robust smartphone sales in China are expected to offset impact in overseas market since Huawei was put on Washington’s trade blacklist in mid-May.

Meanwhile, Kunpeng, Huawei’s new ARM-based server chips, are in the headlines again. Over the weekend, Huawei signed a cooperation agreement with Xiamen, Fujian province, to build its first Kunpeng eco-base and supercomputing center

Huawei reportedly intends to attract partners to settle in the base and jointly develop the Kunpeng series. The supercomputing center will use the Taishan Server assembled with Kunpeng CPU, with a domestic operating system and database to provide end-to-end computing for the government, state-owned large and medium-sized enterprises and key industries of Xiamen. It is reported that the center will have a total investment of around RMB1.5 billion.

Last week Huawei announced it would inject RMB3 billion ($436 million) into the Kunpeng ecosystem over the next five years. 

Tell us what you think