Huawei's new phones rebut sanctions, rattle Apple

STORY: Huawei’s latest phones went on sale Friday (September 8).

The Mate 60 Pro+ was launched without prior advertising, as was a related model last week.

And yet the new handsets are causing a stir in the tech world.

A teardown by analysis firm TechInsights reveals they’re powered by advanced chips made in China.

That’s a huge breakthrough for Huawei, which has seen its access to U.S. silicon restricted since 2019.

TechInsights analyst Dan Hutcheson says the phones raise big questions for Washington:

"Is the U.S. going to come in with more sanctions? I don't know, I think that is going to be negotiated. Which you know, one of the questions that I keep getting asked is "Okay, why isn't Huawei talking about the chip? Why aren't they talking about the chip?" Well, probably because they don't want more sanctions.”

The chips are made by China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, which also faces U.S. restrictions.

And researchers were surprised to find that the silicon featured tiny circuitry of around seven nanometers.

"And seven nanometres is significant because it says that they've broken past the 14 nanometre barrier that people had thought, that the regulators thought they could stop them at. And they've gone far beyond that and hit seven nanometres.”

Now the new phones could allow Huawei to go back on the offensive against rivals like Apple.

But that’s not the U.S. tech giant’s only headache in China right now.

Media reports say Beijing is widening restrictions on the use of iPhones by government employees.

That has raised fears for Apple sales in the country, and put shares in its suppliers under pressure.