It appears that Chinese smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co. is now building smartphones without U.S. chips.
Huawei’s latest phone — the Mate 30 with a curved display, telephone and wide-angle cameras that competes with Apple ’s iPhone 11 — contained no U.S. parts, according to an analysis by UBS and Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, a Japanese technology lab that took the device apart.
In May, the Trump administration banned U.S. shipments to Huawei as trade tensions with Beijing escalated. That move stopped companies like Qualcomm and Intel from exporting chips to the company, though some shipments of parts resumed over the summer after companies determined they weren’t affected by the ban.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department oversees export licenses, last month said U.S. chip makers were being granted licenses to resume some other deliveries. The department has received nearly 300 license applications, he said.
While Huawei hasn’t stopped using American chips entirely, it has reduced its reliance on U.S. suppliers or eliminated U.S. chips in phones launched since May, including the company’s Y9 Prime and Mate smartphones, according to teardown analysis from iFixit, Tech Insights and Fomalhaut.
For example, before the U.S. ban, Huawei used networking chips from U.S. companies such as Qorvo. The com[any also used similar chips from Skyworks and its own Hisilicon. Following the ban, Huawei can still get some chips from Qorvo, but it also added Japanese Murata to the list of its chip suppliers. The company also stopped working with Skyworks and Broadcom.
Huawei was prepared for the upcoming crisis, as it had bought large quantities of parts in advance, and also seeked for alternative sources, in order to maintain smartphone production.
Taiwanese TSMC has conformed that it will continue offering foundry services to Huawei / Hisilicon.
What's left to be solved is the issue with Google's Android OS. Huawei can no longer license to use Play Store apps.