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HONOR planning a 5G smartphone for the second half of 2019

Huawei's current issues in certain regions may affect HONOR's ability to deliver a 5G smartphone in certain areas of the world.

Published onJanuary 31, 2019

With parent company Huawei going full-steam ahead with 5G, sub-brand Honor announced its own 5G plans during a group interview with Android Authority in Paris. More specifically, HONOR president George Zhao confirmed that the company is working on a 5G smartphone.

In the interview, Zhao suggested HONOR’s 5G smartphone would arrive in the “second half of the year.” However, exactly “when and which model depends on the operators’ infrastructure and progress.”

This is the first time since September 2018 that Zhao talked about HONOR’s 5G plans. Back then, Zhao claimed that HONOR’s 5G smartphone would be the first and that the phone will launch sometime in 2019. Since then, however, Samsung, LG, and OnePlus also announced plans to release 5G smartphones in 2019.

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The “where” part of that equation is an important one for HONOR. Parent company HUAWEI currently has a frosty relationship with the U.S. government and faces a 13-count indictment in the country. The U.S. was already reportedly mulling over whether to ban HUAWEI telecommunications equipment from the country over security concerns.

Compounding matters was Canada’s arrest of HUAWEI CFO Meng Wanzhou. The U.S. government confirmed it will pursue Meng’s extradition and had until yesterday to submit an extradition request.

Across the ocean, Australia and New Zealand already banned HUAWEI’s telecommunications equipment for their 5G networks, with Japan reportedly announcing a similar move soon.

These moves against HUAWEI could trickle down to HONOR and affect the latter’s ability to deliver a 5G smartphone in certain regions. That said, HUAWEI’s business seems unaffected in the regions that really matter: Europe, India, and China. As such, HONOR’s 5G aspirations would remain similarly unaffected if it sticks to those regions.

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