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Huawei Open to Selling 5G Modems to Apple

Accepted submission by takyon at 2019-04-15 15:36:41
Techonomics

Huawei is 'open' to selling 5G chips to Apple for iPhones, marking a big shift in strategy [cnbc.com]

Huawei is "open" to selling high-speed 5G chips and other silicon to rival smartphone maker Apple, marking a significant shift in the Chinese tech giant's thinking toward its own intellectual property.

The world's largest networking equipment maker has been in the consumer market for a relatively short amount of time [cnbc.com] with its own-brand smartphones, but it has quickly risen to become the third-largest vendor by market share.

Huawei started by selling phones at low prices but in recent years has shifted focus to increase its market share in the high end of the market, battling Apple and Samsung. As part of that move, Huawei has developed its own chips, including a modem to give smartphones 5G connectivity [cnbc.com], and a processor [cnbc.com] to power its devices. 5G is next-generation mobile internet, which delivers data at very high speeds.

So far, those pieces of technology have been used only in Huawei's devices [cnbc.com]. That could change. In an interview with CNBC that aired Monday, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said the company would consider selling its 5G chips to Apple. "We are open to Apple in this regard," Ren said. The CEO spoke in Mandarin, which was translated into English by an official translator.

Apple products (e.g. new iPhones) are likely to use 5G modems from Intel, although they won't be ready until 2020. Huawei has been shunned by U.S. companies due to warnings and pressure from the U.S. government claiming that Huawei products enable Chinese espionage. There has even been discussion of the U.S. government developing a 5G network [soylentnews.org] free of Chinese influence. Given that there aren't many places in the country where you can get a "5G" connection yet, is there any point to this offer?

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