Back from the dead? Huawei gets over one million reservations for Mate 50 series

Back from the dead? Huawei gets over one million reservations for Mate 50 series
The story has been told many times about how U.S. restrictions placed on Huawei took it off a path that would have made the firm the largest smartphone company in the world. In 2019, the company was placed on the U.S. Entity List for national security reasons preventing it from accessing its U.S.-based supply chain. That meant that the Google Mobile Services (GMS) version of Android was off-limits and resulted in Huawei developing its own HarmonyOS (now in its third version).

U.S. restrictions have not completely derailed Huawei as the company continues to work on returning to past glory

Exactly one year later to the day, an incredible coincidence or a sign of something more malicious, the U.S. changed its export rules to prevent foundries using U.S. tech from shipping cutting-edge chips to Huawei. This has forced Huawei to use Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoCs tweaked to disable 5G support. That is the chip that is going to be powering most of the manufacturer's 2022 flagship Mate 50 models.

Only one flagship this year for Huawei? Ah yes. We didn't get around to mentioning yet that due to the actions taken by the U.S., Huawei is no longer in the position where it can offer two flagship models a year like it did in years past. Now, it alternates each year between the photography-focused (no pun intended, no animals harmed) P series phones and the technology-focused Mate line.

After releasing the P50 series last year, Huawei is expected to unveil the Mate 50, Mate 50 E, Mate 50 Pro, and Mate 50 RS on September 6th. The latest word about the lineup was disseminated by MyDrivers (via GizChina) which noted that the Mate 50 E will have the Snapdragon 778G 4G chipset under the hood as opposed to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 4G chipset that will be featured on the Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro. Five color options are rumored: "black, white, green, orange, and gold."

The Mate 50 line will reportedly include a 50MP camera sensor (the Sony IMX 766) with a variable aperture that gets larger to let more light in when taking photos in low-light environments. The aperture narrows letting less light in for photographs taken in situations where there is extremely bright lighting. The Pro model will sport a curved display and there has been some talk about an emergency battery mode that would allow users to make a phone call, send texts, and do more even with a dead battery.

Why getting one million reservations for the Mate 50 line is so important for Huawei

Huawei has started taking reservations for the Mate 50 line on its website and through the sites belonging to its e-commerce partners. Over 1 million reservations have been made. That is a strong sign that Huawei has a loyal following and that someday it could regain its leadership position in China at the least.

Of course, making a reservation doesn't require the consumer to spend any money so the more important data will be the number of pre-orders Huawei receives for the Mate 50 phones. With that information, we will have a better idea about the number of Chinese phone buyers willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Interestingly, some inside Huawei were pretty certain that when the new U.S. administration was voted into power in 2020, the restrictions would be removed. But this has not been the case and now Huawei has to deal with the possibility that, at least for the foreseeable future, they will have to continue to work around them. That the company has managed to continue designing and building smartphones is a credit to the firm, but the truth is that Huawei is no longer as relevant as it once was. That is true not only worldwide, but also inside China.

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That is why it is so important for Huawei to not only get over one million reservations for the Mate 50 series, but to have most of these reservations turn into pre-orders.

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