- Huawei can now take orders from Sony for smartphone camera sensors, according to a report.
- Sony supplies Huawei with the bulk of its flagship camera hardware.
- The news comes after display and chipset suppliers were reportedly given the green light to resupply the Chinese firm.
Huawei‘s ailing smartphone business has been handed another lifeline. The US government has reportedly given Sony and Omnivision the green light to supply the firm with smartphone cameras, per Nikkei Asia.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the Chinese smartphone maker can now stock up on essential camera hardware for its devices. This comes after the US government halted critical component supplies to Huawei in mid-September in an escalation of the ongoing trade ban.
It’s another buoying win for Huawei in its battle to keep its smartphone business afloat. Earlier this week, Samsung Display was reportedly handed a license to supply the firm with displays. Although it also employs Chinese firm BOE for panels, it gives the firm another option.
Chip companies were also reportedly given permission to supply the firm’s smartphone division with some silicon, as long as it wasn’t used for the firm’s 5G telecoms business. It’s unclear which chips Huawei can order, or if this will herald the return of its Kirin chipsets. Huawei previously stated that the Kirin 9000 would be its last self-designed flagship SoC.
Beyond displays and silicon, Huawei’s relationship with Sony has been key to the success of its flagships. The Huawei P and Mate lines’ photographic prowess remains a selling point, largely thanks to the Japanese firm’s imaging hardware.
But does this good news arrive a little too late? Possibly. The damage has already been done to Huawei’s smartphone business. The firm is still yet to secure a number of key component suppliers, including memory maker SK Hynix. Huawei also lost its title of world’s biggest smartphone maker in Q3 2020 and looks set to drop behind Xiaomi in the forthcoming quarter.
Still, good news is good news for Huawei even if its future remains murky. The company will likely welcome any win it can muster right now.