Huawei Spin-off Brand Honor Working with Qualcomm to Launch New 5G Phone in Coming Months: Reports

Honor, the budget smartphone brand sold by Huawei Technologies in November, has reportedly resumed cooperation with US chipmaker Qualcomm and the companies are working to deliver a new 5G handset in the coming months. 

Citing a source from Honor’s supplier, China Securities Journal reported that the company is currently advancing the research and development of new Honor 5G mobile phones using Qualcomm chips.

Caixin Global and Chinese news outlet Jiemian quoted people close to Honor on the partnership, saying Honor’s new 5G smartphones powered by Qualcomm chipsets are expected to hit the market in May or June, starting with mid-range products.

“Since Honor is not included on the US Entity List, its cooperation with US firms does not need approval (from the US),” Chinese finance news site Yicai reported, citing company insiders.

The Chinese phone maker is expected to announce the Honor V40 series of flagship phones around the second quarter of 2021, but it is unclear if the devices will be equipped with the Snapdragon 888 chipset unveiled by Qualcomm in early December. 

Huawei sold its budget smartphone sub-brand Honor to a consortium of over 30 agents, dealers and government-backed entities in November 2020, saying it was under “tremendous pressure” to do so amid US sanctions that threatened Huawei’s hardware supply, including key chipsets.

Earlier, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said at the company’s annual conference that it has already started a dialog with Honor, and looks forward to working with the new company in various areas. The company announced Tuesday that Amon will succeed Steve Mollenkopf as CEO on June 30.

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Honor has set an ambitious target of producing 100 million smartphones in 2021, a 40% increase from the number of phones that the company shipped in 2020. 

It also announced on Dec. 25 that it has been able to secure licenses for Windows 10 from Microsoft, allowing the company to ship laptops globally with the operating system.