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Huawei wants to license smartphone design

Huawei is reportedly seeking a license to develop its smartphones in its latest attempt to circumvent US sanctions.

The fortune of the Chinese tech giant, which was not too long ago one of the world’s largest smartphone powers, plummeted after the Trump administration imposed punitive restrictions. Huawei is now seeking to transfer the license to develop its smartphones to third parties in order to maintain its unsatisfactory consumer performance.

This is a claim made in the new Bloomberg report. He claims Huawei is in talks with Xnova, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Postal and Telecommunications Appliances Co. (PTAC), and the Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer TD Tech Ltd. to make phones designed by Huawei.

Under the current sanctions, Huawei cannot deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Qualcomm Inc., which virtually excludes their access to the vital power lines of processors and modems. By using these other companies to build and brand their phones, Huawei will essentially have access to the chip technology it needs, as well as the Google Play store, albeit in a somewhat workaround way.

The report claims that Huawei engineers have already begun redesigning the circuitry of some of the brand’s phones (which currently run on homemade HiSilicon chips) to prepare them for potential Qualcomm and MediaTek alternatives.

The move can be seen as an act of desperation on Huawei’s part, as sales of its consumer business have declined for the past four consecutive quarters. The company has already sold its lucrative Honor sub-brand, which is now free from US sanctions, leading to the recent launch of the Honor 50 line, clearly reminiscent of Huawei.

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