Huawei tweets it will debut its Mate 40 devices on October 22nd

Huawei has tweeted that it will reveal its Mate 40 series on October 22nd, likely the last of its phones to have Kirin chips— at least for the foreseeable future— due to the ongoing economic pressure from the US.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business unit, said at a conference August 7th that “this year may be the last generation of Huawei Kirin high-end chips.” The US has accused Huawei of building backdoors into network infrastructure, ostensibly to aid Chinese government spying efforts. Huawei has denied the Trump administration’s accusations of spying.

But the Trump administration placed Huawei and 114 of its affiliates on its Entity List in May 2019, which meant US firms were unable to sell technology to the company without explicit US government approval.

It also meant Google was barred from doing business with Huawei, preventing Huawei from obtaining an Android license, and keeping Google apps off Huawei devices. In May, the US Commerce Department issued an amended export rule to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei.

That export rule prevented foreign manufacturers of semiconductors who use American software and technology in their operations from shipping their products to Huawei unless they first obtained a license from the US. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world, reportedly halted orders for Huawei’s HiSilicon unit in May following the new US rule.

There’s no word yet on when the Mate 40 devices will ship to customers, but rumors suggest Huawei will introduce Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro editions. The Mate 40 Pro is expected to have a 6.7-inch screen, with the Mate 40 coming in at 6.5 inches. Android Authority says the devices could be priced between €1,200 and €1,300 (or $1400 to $1500).

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Huawei will unveil the Mate 40 on October 22nd

Huawei is about to unveil its next big phone — and a swan song of sorts. The Chinese tech giant has announced that it will reveal the Mate 40 phone series at a virtual event on October 22nd at 8AM Eastern. It didn’t say much about what the new Mates would entail (“unprecedented power” isn’t really a clue), but it’s safe to say that the processor will be the most talked-about feature.

The company has already confirmed that the Mate 40 will be its last phone with a high-end Kirin chip, at least for a while. Now that the US has slapped Huawei with trade restrictions that led chip manufacturers like TSMC to back away, the company simply doesn’t have access to cutting edge processing tech for future models. The 5-nanometer Kirin chip in the Mate 40 expected to be fast and efficient, but it’s not expect to reach other phones going forward.

The Mate 40 is otherwise expected to keep up the Mate 30’s focus on photography with a giant four-sensor camera hump that could include a “freeform lens” aimed at improving wide-angle images. The front notch with a depth sensor might also be replaced with a two-sensor hole punch. Like it not, the “waterfall” curved display would make a comeback.

It’s not certain when the Mate 40 lineup will reach customers. A WinFuture report suggested it might not ship until 2021. That’s a long time to wait if true, especially when competitors aren’t standing still.

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