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.

One million sold in 15 days! Mate 20 5G demand taking off

August 2nd, Huawei began selling the 5G phone, online only. By August 15th, sales topped 1,000,000. On August 16th, lines formed around stores in several cities as sales began offline. Huawei will probably sell 7 million to 12 million 5G phones in China this year, replacing many of the lost sales in Europe.

ZTE and others are also selling phones, with Oppo committed to a price of US$580. The telcos have just begun offering phones in their shops. Two million signups in August are almost certain. China and Korea will likely each reach three million signups in September. After that, a wide gap will develop.

When Minister Miao told the Chinese telcos not to wait for October for 5G, the companies were not prepared. Over 50,000 radios were in place, but basics like price plans didn’t exist.

For now, all customers are on a free 100 gigabyte/month “experience” plan. The rumours are that prices will be 199 to 599 yuan, US$29 to $85 per month.

Huawei planning $300 5G phone

Peter Zhou told FT “Next year, some people say we may see [5G] smartphones at $300 and I think that’s very much possible.” That price makes sense.

Huawei sells the Mate 20 Lite for about US$250. The additional parts for 5G probably cost US$30-60 this year. By next year, the price for the 5G parts – and the basic phone – will be lower.

All the 5G phones shipping today cost over US$1,000, establishing an image of luxury. The high cost hasn’t deterred the Koreans, who sold more than 400,000 the first two months. (Some with a carrier subsidy,)

The US$600-700 Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G phone with slider is available already from Vodafone in England.

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?April for 5G chips & phones?

Taiwan Semiconductor expects “volume production” of 5G EUV chips in March. HiSilicon’s 5G chips will be coming off that line alongside the April A13 – if they are ready for production.

Lawrence Livermore EUV 230
EUV at Livermore

At least a dozen 5G phones will be announced in the next two weeks for MWC Barcelona. Some of them may start shipping as soon as April, earlier than expected. That’s not guaranteed. The primary chips should be available but the front end of the phones – RF or Radio Frequency – also has been struggling.

End of March, Taiwan Semi promises volume production of 7 nm chips produced using an Extreme Ultraviolet system (EUV.) TSMC is taking delivery on 18 of the US$100 million-plus machines this year. Some will be tested on 5nm, with production expected in 2020.  Samsung and TSMC have begun construction on 3 nm facilities that will cost US$20 billion.  More

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