Huawei can now order smartphone camera hardware from Sony
- Huawei can now take orders from Sony for smartphone camera sensors, according to a report.
- Sony supplies Huawei with most of its flagship camera hardware.
- The news comes after display and chipset suppliers reportedly received the green light to supply the Chinese company.
Huawei’s ailing smartphone business has received another lifeline. The US government has reportedly given Sony and Omnivision the green light to provide the company with smartphone cameras Nikkei Asia.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer can now stock up on the most important camera hardware for its devices. It did so after the U.S. government stopped shipping critical components to Huawei in mid-September in an attempt to escalate the ongoing trade ban.
It’s another achievement for Huawei in its struggle to keep the smartphone business going. Earlier this week, Samsung Display was reportedly granted a license to supply displays to the company. Although it also employs the Chinese company BOE for panels, the company has another option.
Chip companies were also reportedly given permission to supply some silicon to the company’s smartphone division, unless it was used for the company’s 5G telecommunications business. It is unclear which chips Huawei can order or whether this will herald the return of its Kirin chipsets. Huawei previously announced that the Kirin 9000 would be its final flagship SoC that it designed itself.
In addition to displays and silicon, Huawei’s relationship with Sony has been key to the success of its flagships. The photography capabilities of the Huawei P and Mate lines remain a selling point, largely thanks to the Japanese company’s imaging hardware.
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But is this good news a little late? Possibly. The damage has already been done to Huawei’s smartphone business. The company has yet to acquire a number of key component suppliers, including memory maker SK Hynix. Huawei also lost its title as the world’s largest smartphone maker in the third quarter of 2020 and is expected to lag behind Xiaomi in the coming quarter.
Even so, good news is good news for Huawei, even if its future remains bleak. The company will likely welcome any victory it can achieve right now.