Huawei’s flagship Pura 70 smartphone has highest ratio yet of China-made components as firm seeks tech self-sufficiency

Huawei’s flagship Pura 70 smartphone has highest ratio yet of China-made components as firm seeks tech self-sufficiency

With its latest flagship smartphone, Huawei Technologies has pushed ahead in cramming in ever more China-made components, according to a recent tear-down analysis of the Pura 70 line, as the tech giant looks to overcome US sanctions and go head-to-head with Apple on its home turf.

The Pura 70, 70 Pro, 70 Pro Plus and top-of-the-line 70 Ultra have packed in a record number of locally sourced semiconductors, a sign that the Shenzhen-based tech giant is close to breaking free of the escalating US sanctions that hobbled its smartphone business five years ago. The vast majority of the electronics in the handsets were sourced in China, according to an analysis from TechInsights, a semiconductor and electronic components research company.

Being able to source components locally has become more imperative for Huawei after the US recently revoked more chip export licences from chip makers Qualcomm and Intel, preventing them from selling their products to Huawei. Given the advancements in China-made chips, analysts downplayed the impact of Washington’s latest move, as Huawei has already been producing 4G and 5G chipsets for both high-end and budget handsets.

“We don’t think revoking the chipset export licence will significantly impact Huawei’s smartphone business this year,” said Linda Sui, a senior smartphone analyst with TechInsights.

Components of a Huawei Pura 70 Pro smartphone laid out on a table during a teardown analysis by iFixit staff members for Reuters, in Shenzhen on April 19, 2024. Photo: Reuters

Foreign components still used in the phones include DDR5 memory from SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics. SK Hynix’s memory chips appear in the standard Pura 70 and 70 Pro, whereas Samsung’s chips were found in the 70 Pro Plus and Ultra. On the standard model, 33 of 69 electronic components that TechInsights analysed were sourced from Chinese manufacturers, and only five sourced from non-Chinese suppliers. Other components are still under investigation.

The Pura 70 Ultra appears to only use memory from Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation (YMTC), China’s top NAND memory maker, which is also under US sanctions. By comparison, the Huawei Mate 60 Pro, which launched last year to intense interest because of its China-made 7-nanometre processor, used SK Hynix NAND chips, according to TechInsights.

However, the ratio of components procured within China was higher in the standard Pura 70 than the Pro Plus model, said Stacy Wegner, a senior analyst at TechInsights.

On the Pura 70 Pro Plus, which has the most populated main board, 22 components were sourced from Chinese manufacturers, with three from non-Chinese suppliers, TechInsights data showed. Another 55 other components are still under investigation.

A previous TechInsights analysis found that the HiSilicon 9000s chip powering the standard Pura 70 and Kirin 9010 in the other Pura phones, designed by Huawei’s fabless semiconductor subsidiary, were produced by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China’s largest chip manufacturer. SMIC also manufactured the Mate 60 chips. All the chips used the same 7-nm process.

The Pura 70 smartphone series, unveiled in mid-April, was the firm’s biggest flagship handset launch since the Mate 60 Pro last summer, which was the company’s first 5G phone in three years.

The Pura 70 is expected to be a key competitor in China for Apple’s iPhone 15 and upcoming 16 series in the fall, in addition to Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series, said Sui, adding that shipments for the new Pura phones could exceed 10.4 million units this year.

Under US sanctions over national security concerns, Chinese logic and memory foundries have rallied behind Huawei as they look to weather intensified scrutiny from Washington.



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Wuhan-based YMTC has continued to expand its market share despite US sanctions. TechInsights identified the 512-gigabit NAND die embedded in Pura 70 Ultra as YMTC’s 128-Layer 3D NAND, while the 1-terabit NAND die is the company’s 232-Layer 3D NAND, YMTC’s most advanced NAND memory.

Huawei is expected to ship more than 50 million handsets in China this year, putting it back in the top spot with a 19 per cent market share, up from 12 per cent in 2023, according to TechInsights. Huawei’s resilience in China could help it rise to become the No 8 smartphone vendor globally, making up 5 per cent of shipments.

Outside China, where Huawei’s smartphone fortunes are less certain, the Pura 70 phones will start shipping in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe later this month. The global models, however, will be 4G only, TechInsights said.



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