The Huawei Mate 40 Pro may finally come out in the US, but under a different name. A report claims that TD Tech will release a virtually identical version of the phone with its own brand name stamped on the back – possibly as a way to sell units without running afoul of US sanctions against Huawei.
This isn’t the first time TD Tech has sold rebadged Huawei phones. The brand, created by Huawei and Nokia as a joint venture in 2005, re-released the Huawei Nova 8 Pro as the TD Tech N8 Pro last week, per Huawei Central.
The Mate 40 Pro version to be sold by TD Tech doesn’t yet have an official name, but images shared by Weibo user @Ark show a device that looks remarkably similar to the Mate 40 Pro, though with the Huawei logo swapped with a TD Tech one and the Leica mention at the center of the camera block replaced by a benign ‘Ultra Vision Camera’ label.
The TD Tech version of the Mate 40 Pro received TENAA certification and, logos aside, has identical specs as the Huawei original – that includes a Kirin 9000 chipset, 6.7-inch display with 90Hz refresh rate, and 4,400mAh battery. The TD Tech version will have its own renamed EMUI, though it’s not clear whether it will support Google Mobile Services (GMS) and potentially Android, per Notebook Check.
Analysis: getting Huawei to US consumers
Huawei has had tough few years, going from nearly signing a deal with a US carrier to getting shut out of the US market thanks to aggressive sanctions. After subsequently getting shut out of GMS, meaning current Huawei phones don’t run the main version of Android, and selling its Honor brand, Huawei is far from poised to sell phones in the US.
Releasing its phones through the TD Tech brand seems like a reasonable workaround, but it still leaves big questions unanswered. First, we have no official indication that the TD Tech brand will be marketed outside China, where it received TENAA certification. More to the point, it’s unclear if the TD Tech Mate 40 Pro (or whatever it will be called) will run Huawei’s HarmonyOS or if it will be able to run Android along with GMS – which would be crucial to selling the phone in the US and elsewhere.