HUAWEI sold its Honor sub-brand to a government-backed consortium back in November last year citing sanctions imposed by the US government, which involved putting HUAWEI on an entity as well as a military blacklist. Now, it appears that the fate which befell Honor will also dawn upon the HUAWEI P and Mate series of flagship smartphones. As per a Reuters report, the Chinese telecom equipment and electronics giant has been in talks to sell its P and Mate series brands to a consortium of buyers. If the deal goes through, HUAWEI will essentially be making an exit from the flagship smartphone segment.
“The talks between the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and a consortium led by Shanghai government-backed investment firms have been going on for months, the people said, declining to be identified as the discussions were confidential. Huawei started to internally explore the possibility of selling the brands as early as last September, according to one of the sources,” says the report.
However, there is a chance that the sale of its P and Mate brand of flagships might not materialize, as the company is still trying to manufacture its in-house Kirin chips that power both HUAWEI and Honor-branded phones. The company, however, has refuted the talks of any such deal. But if there is any truth to the latest report, it would be a clear sign that HUAWEI is not too hopeful with a new president taking the helm in the US, following the trade sanctions imposed during the Trump administration.
“Huawei has learned there are unsubstantiated rumours circulating regarding the possible sale of our flagship smartphone brands. There is no merit to these rumours whatsoever. Huawei has no such plan,” a HUAWEI spokesperson was quoted as saying. While the company has disagreed with the Reuters report, things are likely not going to ease for the company anytime soon, or drastically.
HUAWEI’s P-series and Mate-series phones are among the highest-selling flagships in its home country, and they left quite an influence in other markets as well, before they were prohibited from offering Google Play services due to the US trade sanctions. While devices without Google services pre-installed on them are a norm in China, selling a phone without Gmail, Google Maps and Play Store access in other markets is a tough task, as is clearly evident by the shrinking international market share o HUAWEI’s P and Mate series flagships.