Honor to switch to MediaTek away from Huawei’s Kirin chips

Honor has been aggressively pushing an image of an independent company but, looking inside its phones, no one will be able to miss Huawei’s DNA in almost every aspect. That includes one of the most components in Honor’s products, the HiSilicon Kirin processors that are now at the heart of the latest battle between Huawei and the US government. It seems that Honor will slowly be moving its future phones over to MediaTek chips to steer away from that controversy, or at least until Huawei also gets blocked from using those as well.

Huawei and, by extension, Honor, have so far only used processors from two silicon makers. Just like everyone else, it was a heavy user of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform in the past. But as HiSilicon’s Kirin chips started to meet the company’s expectations, they slowly shifted their products to Kirin chips both on the mid-tier and especially on the premium flagship range.

Kirin’s future, however, now lies in limbo as the US government announced rules that effectively blocked any supplier or fabricator from taking part in the products of semiconductors that will eventually end up in Huawei’s and Honor’s products. With Qualcomm already out of the picture and HiSilicon now in danger, Honor is looking into one of two remaining options: MediaTek.

Although it hasn’t made any concrete commitment or announcement, Honor has now publicly stated its intention to use or at least collaborate with MediaTek on its 5G chips. This would definitely be a huge boon to MediaTek which has been aggressively pushing its Dimensity line of 5G-capable SoCs. Having a large name like Honor could elevate its profile immensely.

It’s not just Honor either. Huawei seems to be taking a similar step and has, for the first time, launched a smartphone with a MediaTek chip in the form of the Huawei Enjoy Z. Only time will tell if this strategy will work or if the US government will find a way to prevent even MediaTek and Samsung from doing business with Huawei and its affiliates.

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