Huawei has had a tumultuous time in the smartphone business over the last few years, and a new report now suggests the company may be eyeing a way to sell some of its most successful phone brands.
A report from Reuters (opens in new tab) quotes sources who say the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is looking to sell its premium smartphone lineup - its flagship P and the Mate series - and has been in talks with a consortium of Shanghai government-backed investment firms.
The sources quoted in the report say the company has been looking for options to sell these brands internally from as early as September 2020.
However, Huawei denies this with a spokesperson for the company saying the claims are “unsubstantiated rumours”. The spokesperson also said, “There is no merit to these rumours whatsoever. Huawei has no such plan."
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Impact on Huawei
If the sources quoted in the Reuters report are to be believed, there is absolutely nothing conclusive around the discussion yet.
The unnamed sources told the wire agency that if this deal does go through it would mean that Huawei would be a much smaller name in smartphone market, especially since the P and Mate series form a major share of its premium device sales.
Huawei sold its Honor smartphone brand in November 2020 to a company called Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co Ltd.
Though the exact details of the Honor deal weren’t announced publicly, it was rumored to be over $15 billion. Considering the fact that both P series and Mate series are the highest selling flagship lineups in China and, according to IDC, were worth $39.7 billion between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020, this could end up as a much bigger deal than the Honor transaction if it were to happen.
Will the US situation change?
The Huawei ban that the Trump administration introduced in May 2019 meant a variety of restrictions for the company, including the fact modern Huawei smartphones aren't able to use Google Mobile Services such as the Play Store or Gmail.
Huawei is also impacted with restrictions to its supply chain through the US sanctions, and that has caused a variety of issues for the company over the last couple of years.
While a new president has taken to the White House in the US, the chances of it overturning the curbs placed by the Trump administration are currently unclear and that may be why the company is eyeing this deal.
Would Huawei selling its P and Mate brands mean we'll see new iterations of those smartphones with Google Mobile Services onboard? That isn't clear, and we likely wouldn't learn more until a deal like that became public knowledge.
Huawei is currently rumored to be introducing the new Huawei P50 flagship series of smartphones in the first half of 2021.