As Huawei faces growing supply problems following US sanctions, Samsung has reportedly obtained a waiver from the Trump administration to resell certain components, including OLED displays, to its Chinese customer.
In an ocean of disappointments, Huawei could find in Samsung an outstretched first hand. According to rumors relayed this week by the specialized site SamMobile, the Korean giant would have obtained a waiver from the Trump administration to resume the sale of certain components to Huawei. The news is important since it could ultimately concern two types of parts: first and foremost OLED panels, and potentially memory chips (also manufactured by Samsung).
This rumor, coming directly from Korea, comes as a tightening of US sanctions had forced Samsung to suspend, in early September, the sale of these components to its Chinese customer. An ambiguous situation for the brand, which thus lost important orders – and a substantial source of income -, but taking advantage of Huawei’s decline in the mobile market in Europe and India to mass sell its own smartphones.
Samsung Display: one of the few beneficiaries of an exemption?
As indicated by SamMobile, Samsung would be anyway one of the few firms to have obtained a waiver from the American authorities. This decision could be motivated by the fact that OLED screens are among the least critical components of a smartphone in terms of security. The blocking of their sale by Samsung was otherwise restrictive for Huawei, but nothing more, since the group could always obtain OLED panels from its compatriot BOE Technology.
At the same time, the Trump administration would also have granted derogatory licenses to AMD and Intel, in order to authorize the two American firms to supply processors for computers and servers to Huawei.
What about memory chips?
In fact, the agreement that Samsung seems to have benefited from could especially help Huawei if it does indeed allow the firm to resume shipments of memory chips to its Chinese customer. This is indeed one of the components that Huawei has the most difficulty in obtaining in quantity for its various devices.
Huawei may also find it difficult to mass-produce its own processors in the future, as TSMC is no longer allowed to directly produce Kirin chips. Huawei could then, paradoxically, turn to processors from the American Qualcomm for its future smartphones. The latter is also waiting for a potential derogatory license for the time being to trade with Washington’s scapegoat.