Embattled Chinese tech giant Huawei quietly launched the Mate 60 Pro in China but has omitted any reference to its application and baseband processors from the published spec sheet.
We’re not aware of any press releases on the matter, even in Chinese, let alone a launch event. Nonetheless you can find out all about this new device on the Chinese version of Huawei’s consumer-focused site. Well, not quite all. Conspicuous by its absence in the spec sheet is any mention of either the processor or network support. In contrast, the spec sheet for the P60 Pro goes into exhaustive detail on those matters.
Radio Free Mobile speculates that the main reason for the omissions was to disguise the fact that the phone doesn’t support 5G connectivity. Meanwhile Reuters reports that Chinese chip stocks have rallied on the hope that Huawei has managed to make a competitive phone entirely using domestic semiconductor resources.
US sanctions against Huawei have prevented it from buying chips from the likes of Qualcomm or Mediatek, or even getting its own Kirin chips manufactured by non-Chinese foundries. So it seems likely that Huawei has turned to SMIC to make its Kirin chips, but that would mean they were manufactured on much older processes than offered by, for example, TSMC, thus making the device underpowered. And, to the best of our knowledge, there are no Chinese 5G modem makers either.
Huawei Central has got hold of evidence that the Mate 60 Pro does indeed sport a Kirin 9000s chip but we haven’t seen anything that sheds light on the modem situation. Nonetheless, some in China are treating this as a significant act of defiance. It feels like the launch of the Mate 60 Pro is more of a symbolic gesture than a serious commercial initiative, but even that’s probably enough to trouble US China hawks.
Huawei is back! Not only is the new phone made with 100% Chinese components — including the semiconductor chips, it has the capability to use satellites for phone calls!
US sanctions against China will fail just like they did with Russia. pic.twitter.com/wvbKigot53
— S.L. Kanthan (@Kanthan2030) August 29, 2023
“I’m Raimondo, this time I endorse Huawei”
Chinese parody ad of Huawei Mate 60 Pro which just released with 100% Chinese made components.
Mate60 debuted just as US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visited China pic.twitter.com/O7mdyESPeX
— Carl Zha (@CarlZha) August 30, 2023