Huawei Plans to Sell 5G Modems to Apple Only

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2018, photo, the logo of Huawei stands on its office building at the research and development centre in Dongguan in south China's Guangdong province. The U.S. Justice Department unsealed criminal charges Monday, Jan. 28, 2019 against Chinese tech giant Huawei, a top company executive and several subsidiaries, alleging the company stole trade secrets, misled banks about its business and violated U.S. sanctions. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Interesting news … or is it fake?

For years, Huawei has been developing its own high-powered processorsand modems, all to power its big portfolio of mobile devices. And so far, the company has refused to sell any of those to its competitors. We’ve learned, however, that the company might be softening that stance. A source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to Engadget that Huawei is now “open” to selling its 5G Balong 5000 chipsets, but only to one company: Apple.

Such a deal would be unusual, to say the least. Chip sales aren’t exactly Huawei’s forte, and a company representative said earlier this year in China that Huawei “Balong is mainly for supporting Huawei’s smart products, such as phones and IoT products, and is currently for Huawei’s internal use only.”

For Huawei — a company that’s gunning to become the world’s largest smartphone maker in 2020 — offering 5G as an olive branch to one of its biggest rivals is surprising. At this point, though, it’s unclear whether the companies have engaged in any conversations — neither Huawei nor Apple has responded to requests for comment at time of publication.

Huawei’s surprising change of heart only really matters because Apple appears to be in a tough spot with its sole modem supplier, Intel. The chipmaker currently provides the wireless modems that go into all current iPhones and iPads, and it said late last year that its 5G-ready XMM 8160 modems would be available for its customers in the second half of 2019.

More at Engadget


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