It appears that Huawei may soon be able to continue producing Qualcomm powered products as the US government has granted an exemption to Qualcomm to sell mobile chips to the Chinese tech giant. According to Reuters’ report, a Qualcomm spokeswoman has confirmed that it has received license from the US government for a number of products including some 4G products.
The spokesperson didn’t reveal which 4G products are authorised for sale but it is said to be related to mobile devices. It was reported that Qualcomm still has other license applications pending with the US government.
Commenting on the latest developments, Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon says Qualcomm’s new license would have very limited impact as it only covers 4G chips while consumers are shifting to newer 5G devices.
With the license, Huawei could potentially produce new smartphones that run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. This would be imperative to their smartphone business as Huawei has been cut off from TSMC, a vital supplier for its Kirin chips. The recently introduced Huawei Mate 40 Pro is considered to be the last flagship smartphone from Huawei to run on a Kirin processor.
With the limited scope, Huawei could potentially get access to the Snapdragon 855+, 765 and 732G. While 5G is seen as the next big thing, 4G smartphones are still quite relevant in the mid-range segment. In Malaysia at least, 5G rollout has been postponed by 1-2 years and Malaysians would still have to wait before there’s substantial 5G coverage.
Apart from Qualcomm, other tech firms have also been granted licenses from the US government. This include Microsoft, Intel, AMD and Samsung. It was reported earlier that Google had also applied for an exemption to allow Huawei to use its apps and services but there’s still no update on its approval. Even if Huawei can make Snapdragon powered phones, the biggest challenge in global markets is still the lack of Google apps and services.