Huawei could release P60 and Mate 60 flagship lines next March
Because of the U.S. restrictions placed on Huawei, the company has been forced to release only one flagship series per year. Previously, the manufacturer would launch its photography-focused (no puns were killed in the construction of this sentence) "P series" phones at the beginning of the year. Near the end of the same year, the "Mate series" would be released with the latest tech-based innovations.
Forced to scramble for chips, Huawei uses 4G-only versions of Qualcomm's Snapdragon silicon for its flagship models which included 2021's P50 line, and this year's Mate 50 series. To say that Huawei hit it out of the park this year would be an understatement as the Mate 50 lineup was met by long lines and heavy demand when it was released in China earlier this year.
Huawei has already denied rumors that say the P60 line will use Huawei's own Kirin chips
Gizchina cites sources who say that Huawei, originally expected to release only the P60 next year, could launch both the P60 and Mate 60 lines in March 2023. Last month, we told you that Huawei denied that it would use its own Kirin chips for the flagship phones. Because of U.S. export rules that prevent chip foundries that use American tech from shipping cutting-edge silicon to Huawei, the latter has a huge hurdle to overcome.
Concept render of the Huawei P60 Pro
Because of the U.S. export rules, Huawei could no longer receive the Kirin chips that it designed and had manufactured by TSMC. At one time, Huawei was the Taiwan-based foundry's second-largest customer after Apple. The rumor noted that the Kirin chips would be manufactured using a 14nm process node, far from the cutting-edge 3nm chips that TSMC and Samsung will ship next year.
The basic P60 model could be equipped with the Mate 50 Pro's variable aperture feature
The lower the process node, the higher the transistor count on a chip. That's important since the larger the number of transistors used on a chip, the more powerful and energy-efficient it is. Since Huawei put the kibosh on the Kirin chips rumor, the company is once again expected to utilize Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm tweaked to use 4G connectivity only. There are cases for the Mate 50 series that will allow the phone to receive 5G signals.
We could see the Mate 60 line powered by a 4G-only variant of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. The model number of the chip is reportedly SM8525 vs. the SM8550 for the regular 5G version of the chip.
The tipster added that the P60 series could use the older Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip (again, the 4G version). Another rumor has the basic P60 model offering the same variable aperture as the Mate 50 Pro. This feature allows the aperture of the main camera to change from f/1.4 to f/4. In Auto mode, the aperture is selected by the phone while in Professional mode the user gets to select which aperture to use. Another rumor calls for a 64MP Telephoto camera to be used on the P60 series.
Not much is known about the Mate 60 series and frankly, we really don't know whether Huawei plans on releasing two flagship handsets next year, especially at the same time. The company was on its way to becoming the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world until the U.S. placed it on the Entity List preventing Huawei from accessing its U.S. supply chain. The following year the aforementioned export rule change kept Huawei from receiving cutting-edge chips.
Huawei was forced to develop its own HarmonyOS operating system and the third version of the software was preinstalled on the Mate 50 line. And Huawei also had to come up with its own homegrown Huawei Mobile Services platform which has also been well-received. The firm may not challenge Samsung and Apple at the top of the league tables right away, but it is definitely on a comeback trail.