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No more budget Huawei phones due to chip shortage?

Huawei
(Image credit: Huawei)

Reports coming out of China indicate that Huawei is abandoning production of its low-end smartphone range entirely.

The chip shortage in the country is said to be the reason for Huawei deciding to focus solely on its high-end models, for the short-term at least.

• Read more: Best budget camera phone (opens in new tab)

This is the latest chapter in the sorry Huawei smartphone saga, the most notable one being the ban imposed by the US during Donald Trump’s tenure as president after Huawei was pronounced a national security risk. The ban cut the company off from Google’s suite of digital products, including the Google Play Store. 

The knock-on effect of sanctions (opens in new tab) has made it difficult for Huawei to acquire crucial components for its smartphones, and it seems that the chip shortage in China has exacerbated the situation, leading to reports that the company is to cease production of its low end models. However, it's worth noting that Huawei has yet to make an official announcement.

There are also wider global supply chain (opens in new tab) constraints, including global chip shortages which look as though they will affect other companies' products, including Apple's iPhone 12 Pro (opens in new tab) and iPhone 12 Pro Max (opens in new tab)

However, production of Huawei's top-end phones including the Huawei P40 Pro (opens in new tab), the Huawei P40 Pro Plus (opens in new tab), the Huawei Mate 40 Pro (opens in new tab) and the Huawei Mate Xs (opens in new tab) looks likely to be unaffected.

According to Gizmo China (opens in new tab), official Huawei stores in China are already reporting very low stock levels of many of its phones. It seems as though the Nova series is no longer in production, with the cheapest variant available being the Nova 8 Pro. Outside of China, stocks of the lower-end handsets, such as the P40 Lite and P Smart, are still available.

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Laurence is an NCTJ-trained journalist with nearly 20 years' editorial experience gained on a wide range of publications, from The Beirut Times in Lebanon to The Sunday Times, and including recent freelance engagements with Future's cycling and automotive portfolios, Outdoor Fitness, and The English Home. He has recently been undertaking a sports broadcast journalism MA at Southampton Solent, gaining valuable TV and radio experience, and am currently videographer for Frome Town FC soccer team. He is the author of Bikepacking (Wild Things Publishing, 2016).