After Huawei parted ways with Honor in November, the company is now reportedly planning to say goodbye to the P and Mate series as well. As in the case of Honor, US sanctions against the telecom company are likely to be the primary reason.
As Reuters reports, citing two sources, plans to sell Huawei's P and Mate smartphones have reportedly been discussed internally since September 2020. The buyer is currently said to be a consortium of investors backed by the Shanghai government. The secret talks with the consortium have reportedly been going on for months, but a final decision has yet to be made.
A Huawei spokesperson told Reuters that they had also heard the rumours. At the same time, however, they denied them, saying, "Huawei has no such plan."
Sale of the Mate and P series: role model Honor
Should the alleged plans nevertheless come true, they might be a repeat of the Honor sale. The new owner here is also a consortium, backed by the Shenzhen government. Through the sale, Huawei could in some respects achieve a way out of the trade embargo with the US. Because just a few days ago Honor announced partnerships with Intel and Qualcomm.
Such a collaboration is currently not possible for the P and Mate smartphones under Huawei, as US sanctions prohibit it. Reuters suspects, based on the alleged plans to sell, that Huawei doesn't have high hopes that the restrictions will improve under the Biden administration.
Salvation or end for the P and Mate series?
At first, a sale of the once very popular smartphone series seems like a departure for Huawei from the premium class. However, parting ways with the P and Mate series could make future models competitive again, keeping the smartphone series alive. This is because without the tie-up with Huawei, new smartphones, such as a P50 or a Mate 50, could once again be equipped with Google services and also have up-to-date hardware.
In this regard, the two Reuters sources said that lack of smartphone chip shipments was the motivation behind the new sales plans. Huawei had stocked up on them, but analysts are already talking about the current P40 and Mate 40 suffering from a "severe components shortage". As a result, Counterpoint Research expects a steady decline in sales for the first quarter of 2021.
What's your take on the future of the two smartphone series? Is Huawei's decision a smart move or more of an attempt at desperation? Let us know in the comments!