No American Parts – Wall Street Journal

Asa Fitch and Dan Strumpf report that a Huawei Mate 30 has been manufactured without any US parts. I’ve been reporting since May that Huawei would break its dependence on US components. It has done so already with 5G radios, now shipping hundreds of thousands per quarter.

The image above shows a Qualcomm front end module in a Nov 7 teardown of a Mate 30 Pro 5G by Techinsights. There were two other US components, but Huawei has done an exceptional job gaining independence. It made few if any radio frequency parts eight months ago. HiSilicon now has a wide selection of RF.

The Mate 30 Pro 5G is much more demanding than the 4G version. It has to filter and amplify more than 2 dozen frequency bands at 5G speeds. It makes sense it’s taking a little longer to replace everything in the 5G version.

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Apple passing Huawei Q4?

Trendforce predicts Apple will regain second place in smartphone sales this quarter. Apple is always strongest in the fall with new models. Some thought Apple sales would be handicapped because people want 5G, but Trendforce doesn’t see that in the data. (Below)

They are probably correct because they have figures for product orders. Apple is building 69M phones in Q4, presumably based on sales. Apple sales are likely to slip off next quarter and Huawei could regain #2.

The Google ban is starting to hurt, especially in Europe. It doesn’t affect existing models, which continue to sell well. HongMeng/Harmony and Huawei’s alternative to the Google App Store and services is not quite ready. If the US boycott continues, Huawei sales in Europe will be hurt the next few quarters as well.

H. has literally thousands of engineers and is starting to bridge the gap.

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October Sales Gain “Only” 17%

The Google Apps and Store ban is hurting phone sales, especially in Europe. With explosive 5G growth in China, Huawei’s total sales continue to grow far above the industry average. The result is October 2019 sales only 17% higher than October 2018.

Huawei’s smartphone sales outside of China fell 6% year-on-year last quarter, and that followed a plunge of between 12% and 17% in overseas shipments in the second quarter, data from IDC and Canalys showed. CNN

It seems like half the net is addicted to Google Mail, as I am. I have so much history and so many contacts there it would be a real pain to switch. For more competition in software, you need to be able to take your data with you.

The sales fall outside China will likely increase in the next few months. Google works fine on older model Huawei phones, still a large part of sales. As the earlier phones get outdated, the impact should increase.

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“Bill Gates: Paranoia on China is a ‘crazy approach’ to innovation”

Nikkei reports from a Gates speech in New York, “that trying to stop Beijing from developing innovative technologies is “beyond realistic.”

“Huawei, like all goods and services, should be subject to an objective test. The rule that everything that comes from China is bad … that is one crazy approach to trying to take advantage of innovation.”

Marrian Zhou, writing in Nikkei, added, “When the event moderator said the Trump administration is unlikely to consider that approach as sufficient to solve security concerns, Gates replied: ‘Anyone with tech expertise would think so.'”

Gates retired from Microsoft in 2007. His foundation has done important work around the world for health.

Bill also made an exaggerated comment about Elisabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax. However, he also implied he would vote for her over Trump.

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In standards, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, & ZTE work together

90% of what happens in standards consists of extraordinary engineers working together in good faith. In this 3GPP email exchange, Bruno Landis of Nokia, Frank Yong Yang of Ericsson, Caixia Qi of Huawei, and Li Zhijun of ZTE exchanged ideas and worked out one of the hundreds of issues not yet decided for 5G.

This is from an open mailing list of the 3GPP standards group. As you can see, the tone is respectful as they try to get things right. This corresponds to my experience in standards. Honest folk, working hard to move the industry forward.

The exchange is also interesting because it shows how complicated even seemingly minor 5G questions can be. I’m writing a book on 5G and wouldn’t understand most of the below with help from an expert.

Any error could have practical complications. Some might be minor, like a call drop when you go from France to Germany. Others can be more severe. In the last few years in the US, the 9-1-1 emergency system has failed several times. (I don’t know if better standards could have prevented that.)

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2000 Towers at Saudi Zain

Zain has 2000 5G towers, more than Deutsche Telecom and about as many as British Telecom. Vodafone and Telefonica are probably lower but they don’t release figures. The plan is for 2600 towers by the end of 2019.

Zain, Etisalat, STC, Batelco, and several other carriers are working to make the Gulf the most advanced 5G market outside of China and Korea.

Vendors tell me the Gulf countries are buying a great deal of equipment. The press releases keep coming but this is one of the first with firm numbers. All data very welcome.

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Tripling Russia phone sales to 37% share

When Ren said that the US attack had inspired Huawei people to work even more effectively, most took that for bluster. But the results are coming in, including a remarkable increase in sales in Russia, a large market.

Huawei also is building a 5G network for MTS, agreed shortly after the meeting between Putin & Xi. Russia, which has the lowest mobile prices in Europe, had been holding off on 5G until 2021.

Huawei is investing massively in several new research centers in Russia, Ren noted that Russian universities consistently won international prizes in computer science. Google and the other Americans grab the best graduates. Huawei intends to change that, including by making much higher salary offers.

The sales increase in Russia, China, and the rest of the world is more than making up for the sales lost to the Google blockade.

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Huawei’s phone sales up 29% Q3

Huawei sold 67 million smartphones in Q3, 18% of the world market. Samsung is ahead at 22% but the gap is narrowing quickly. The US boycott is having some effect, especially in Europe. Otherwise, Huawei would be on track to catch Samsung at the end of this year.

After two years of stagnation, smartphone sales climbed by 2%. The figures are from Strategy Analytics, a respected source. (Full release below) The boom in China 5G is key to Huawei’s success.

Apple and almost everyone else saw sales drop. Apple is confident they will sell 80 million 5G phones, although they probably won’t launch until September.

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Huawei Sales Q3 +27%

It’s all over but the shouting. Huawei will survive and thrive, no matter what the US does short of bombing Shenzen. Despite the US blockade, Raymond Zhong of the NY Times calculates Q3 sales were up 27% over the previous year. I expect 2019 sales will be about US$120 billion.

“Sales from January to September were $86 billion, an increase of nearly 25 percent from a year earlier, Huawei said. That implies, based on comparisons with previously released figures, that sales accelerated in the July-to-September quarter.”

Zhong notes you have to go beyond the (limited) financial release/

It can also be selective about which numbers it shares … the company did not offer a breakdown of its latest sales for different business divisions, which would have provided a better sense of how it has been dealing with the American blacklisting.

I have some details for Zhong. Ritchie Peng said Huawei has now shipped 400,000 5G radios, billing over several quarters billions. He added the demand was far beyond expectations.

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Radio frequency for phones: Huawei doesn’t need U.S.

Donald Trump and others in D.C. are completely certain Huawei needs parts from America. That’s total hubris. Huawei designs its own custom chips for mobile, led by the Kirin 980 & 990. Screens, power supplies, and just about everything are available outside the US.

The one major exception – until now – was RF (radio frequency) parts. 5G phones must support over two dozen frequency bands. They must filter out unwanted signals, perform error correction, and amplify what often will be very weak signals, all at very high 5G speeds.

The problem is mostly solved. The top of the line Mate 30 only requires 2 US parts. Huawei and suppliers like Murata Japan will soon be able to replace those as well. Chinese universities and military suppliers already produce state of the art chips.

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Blasphemy: The US problem is Huawei’s security is too good

Everyone knows the $100B/year US security apparatus taps almost the entire Internet. Friendly governments help from Australia to Canada to France. Companies like AT&T, Ericsson, Verizon, and Nokia obviously cooperate.

The NSA assumes that China is attempting to do the same and that Huawei as a Chinese company will provide assistance. The evidence suggests otherwise.

Huawei is the primary opponent of US security. Hundreds of expert agents have been looking for evidence of Huawei spying. They haven’t found anything. The dog hasn’t barked. Almost certainly, little or nothing is going on.

Could it be that Huawei’s offence is not cooperating with US spying, unlike Nokia & Ericsson? I have no evidence, but it’s a plausible inference.

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