Chipset maker, Qualcomm has been granted a license by the United States government to sell 4G mobile chips to Huawei. The license will relief Huawei off some pressure after the Chinese OEM was banned from trading with American companies by the Trump-led administration.
A Qualcomm spokesperson confirmed the deal to Reuters stating license had been granted “which includes some 4G products.” This will not be the first time Huawei will be using Qualcomm’s chipset to power its devices. Huawei is known to use Qualcomm’s chipset for its low-end devices while the company use its own Kirin chipset for its flagship smartphones.
Before the ban by the United States Trade department took place in September, Huawei had gone head to stockpile its own in-house Kirin chipset since it would no longer have access to chip design software and fabrication tools provided by American companies. As with anything else, the stockpiled chipsets could well run out early next year leaving Huawei’s smartphone business crippled.
Huawei could yet face challenges marketing its product since most smartphone companies have begun adopting 5G connectivity on its devices. When Apple announced the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro in October, one of the headlining features was the 5G connectivity. Google also announced its latest flagship, the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4A with 5G connectivity. At the moment, it is not clear if the US government will extend the license granted to Qualcomm to include 5G chips.
The last 4G-only chipset released by Qualcomm is now 18 months old, the Snapdragon 855+. Huawei faces a big challenge in convincing customers to stick with its 4G-only smartphones.