Huawei has launched its Mate 40 range of smartphones, claiming that the processor inside them is more ‘sophisticated’ than Apple’s upcoming iteration of the iPhone.
The processor uses the same ‘five nanometre’ technology in the manufacturing process as Apple’s chip, but has billions more transistors.
Huawei’s supply of chips has been cut due to a US trade ban that started in September. Once the company’s stockpile of Kirin 9000 processors is exhausted, it will be unable to make the Mate 40 models in their current format.
The only two companies who can create the chips are both forbidden by supplying Huawei due to restrictions enforced by the US.
The US has cited national security concerns as the reason for taking action, however the Chinese firm insists that they pose no threat.
Despite the restrictions, Huawei remains the third best-selling smartphone manufacturer in the world.
The company faced earlier restrictions from mid-2019 when the US prevented them from providing access to some of Google’s services on its handsets. This included Google’s Play Store.
Mo Jia, an analyst at tech research firm Canalys, said: "In China, Huawei has phenomenal brand awareness in the premium space.
"Demand for the Mate 40 series is expected to be strong [there], but despite this, amid US sanctions, component constraints may limit the total quantity of new Kirin-powered smartphones Huawei can produce.”
Many apps will not install on Huawei devices due to their lack of access to some of Google’s technologies.
A spokesperson for Huawei told the BBC: "Clearly politics has brought about a situation where Huawei is now working hard to become non-reliant upon Google to offer consumers an alternative.
"Surely what Huawei is doing with its App Gallery - albeit a work in progress - deserves praise.”
Users can add unavailable apps to a ‘wishlist’ in order to notify the developer of strong demand.
However, one expert is sceptical about how likely consumers are to warm to such a concept. CCS Insight’s Ben Wood said: "The new chip is impressive and the circular camera design on the rear distinctive, but despite Huawei's best efforts to build up its App Gallery, there are still significant gaps.
"Even with the Petal search capability, you still have this challenge that you have to find the applications and then side-load them onto the device. That's all very well for tech-savvy, committed Huawei enthusiasts, but for the mass market, it's a pretty big barrier to put in people's way.”
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