Why This Huawei Smartphone Exists Raises Many Questions


In the world of smartphones, where innovation and competition reign supreme, there’s often a predictable cycle. Tech giants like Apple, Samsung, and Google announce their latest flagship devices, and the tech community eagerly anticipates their arrival. But what happens when a smartphone appears that seemingly should not exist, and its existence raises more questions than answers? Enter the enigmatic Huawei Mate 60 Pro, a device that has piqued curiosity and sparked discussions within the tech world.

The Huawei Paradox: Sanctions and Innovation

Huawei, the Chinese tech giant renowned for its innovative smartphones, has found itself ensnared in a complex web of international sanctions. Due to geopolitical tensions and security concerns, Huawei faces severe restrictions on its access to critical technology, especially from American sources. These restrictions encompass fundamental components, including processors and operating systems, such as Google’s Android.


In this context, the emergence of the Huawei Mate 60 Pro has left the tech community astounded and perplexed. It’s a device that logically should not exist, given the stringent sanctions imposed on Huawei’s access to American technology. The smartphone’s existence has given rise to multiple questions, ranging from the circumvention of export restrictions to speculations about China’s ability to develop its processors independently, without reliance on American technologies.

The Mate 60 Pro’s Technical Enigma

Huawei, known for its technical prowess, has been tight-lipped about the specifics of the Mate 60 Pro. However, in the pursuit of unraveling this technological enigma, Canadian website TechInsights embarked on a disassembly journey to identify the smartphone’s components. The majority of these elements appear to be designed and produced within China, a testament to Huawei’s efforts to achieve self-reliance.

Yet, the Mate 60 Pro does exhibit some perplexing anomalies that defy the constraints of sanctions. One of the most significant surprises is the presence of the Kirin 9000s chip, boasting 7 nm lithography and 5G support. These are precisely the technologies to which Huawei’s access should have been barred due to sanctions. The chip’s production is attributed to SMIC (Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp), a Chinese semiconductor manufacturer itself under American sanctions. This raises questions about how SMIC could have had access to the advanced extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines required for such production. Notably, this technology is still several years behind major competitors like Qualcomm, Apple, and MediaTek, who are transitioning from 4 nm to 3 nm lithography.

Another intriguing aspect of the Mate 60 Pro is the presence of LPDDR5 RAM chips and NAND Flash storage from the South Korean manufacturer SK Hynix. The South Korean company claims to be strictly adhering to American sanctions and has even initiated an internal investigation to ascertain how its components found their way into Huawei’s smartphone. Some speculations suggest that these components may have been part of Huawei’s stockpiles from purchases made in 2020, highlighting the complex nature of global supply chains and the challenges in enforcing sanctions.

The Unanswered Questions

The existence of the Huawei Mate 60 Pro raises several pressing questions, and answers are in short supply. Some of these inquiries include:

  1. Sanctions Evasion: How did Huawei manage to obtain components such as the Kirin 9000s chip and the associated EUV lithography, seemingly circumventing sanctions?
  2. Third-Party Involvement: Were there third-party intermediaries involved in the procurement of components, inadvertently or otherwise, making enforcement of sanctions even more challenging?
  3. Stockpile Usage: To what extent did Huawei rely on stockpiled components acquired before the sanctions were enforced, and how long can such stockpiles sustain the production of new devices?
  4. Global Ambitions: Does Huawei intend to market the Mate 60 Pro globally, and if so, how does it plan to navigate the complex landscape of international sanctions and restrictions?
  5. The Future of Huawei: Will the emergence of the Mate 60 Pro lead to a reevaluation of sanctions and export restrictions imposed on Huawei, considering the complexities involved in global supply chains?

The Confluence of Determination and Uncertainty

The existence of the Huawei Mate 60 Pro serves as a stark reminder of the confluence of determination and uncertainty in the tech industry. Despite facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, Huawei has managed to create a device that defies expectations and sanctions. The broader tech community eagerly awaits further details and revelations about this enigmatic smartphone, as it navigates the complex terrain of geopolitics, innovation, and global supply chains.

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