The Chinese vendor is looking to build new phones that use different chips to those prohibited by US sanctions and could be ready to launch as soon as next year, claims a report.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Huawei has been busy coming up with ways to bypass sanctions from the US government that prohibit it acquiring US technology for 5G smartphones, involving redesigned phones that use non-restricted chips.

‘People familiar with the matter’ said the firm is looking to build phones using less advanced chips made by Chinese companies that will enable 5G, now that it can no longer use the Kirin chipsets designed by HiSilicon. The report points out that this may effect user experience compared to previous models which were able to use any gear Huawei wanted, which would appear to be a safe assumption.

“This company cannot wait endlessly and needs to bring 5G phones back to the market as soon as possible,” the FT quotes one of its sources as saying. “Huawei has lost its leading position in the mobile phone market to American sanctions years ago. Now even their domestic market share keeps dwindling.”

As well as the chips, Huawei is also apparently trying to get around sanctions by collaborating on a phone case product which enables 5G. The piece quotes another anonymous source as saying: “The company is trying its best to appeal to users at a time when the consumer market is weak.” He apparently didn’t want to be named due to ‘fear of repercussions.’

Huawei’s phone sales took a nose dive after the US imposed sanctions in 2019, and perhaps until now they were waiting it out to see if they’d end up being lifted at some point. However while the ban was started by the previous Trump administration in the US, its successors in the Democrat party are showing few signs they wish to thaw relations with China, which doesn’t seem likely to change while tensions remain over the sabre rattling it has been doing with regards to Taiwan. Huawei is understandably trying to get back into its core competency of 5G related telephony, but unless it can find a way of building around the problem without making products that perform noticeably worse, it would seem the firm has an uphill struggle ahead of it.

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