It seems like Huawei has no intention of selling its Kirin smartphone processors to other OEMs, and will keep using them in its smartphones only, including Honor-branded handsets, of course. This information was revealed during the Huawei Global Analyst Conference in Shanghai, which is the company's 15th annual Global Analyst Conference. Various topics were discussed by this China-based tech giant during this press conference, and one of them was the fact that the company will keep using its Kirin chips exclusively.
The company did explain why that is, as it said that it makes Kirin chips for its own hardware architecture, the company adapts its processors to other hardware components in their devices, and then adds additional polish via its Emotion UI (EMUi) Android skin, which comes pre-installed on its devices. Kirin chips are quite powerful on their own, but the company's other hardware components, and its software, give them that additional polish, and that seems to be the main reason Huawei is not interested in sharing its Kirin processors with other smartphone manufacturers, at least that's what the company said during the press conference. It is worth noting that both Qualcomm and MediaTek are also supplying processors to Huawei, so the company is not using its processors exclusively, even though the vast majority of its smartphones do ship with Kirin-based chips.
Now, the Kirin 970 is the company's latest and greatest chip, and it is fueling the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro flagship handsets which were introduced recently, as well as the Mate 10-branded flagship phones. The Huawei P20 Lite is fueled by the Kirin 659, which is also a 64-bit octa-core processor, but it's not on the Kirin 970's level, as it is 'just' a mid-range chip, even though it's quite capable. The Kirin 980 will be announced later this year, and the Huawei Mate 20 will be the first smartphone to ship with that processor, if past years are any indication of what's coming. Huawei is expected to announce a new mid-range chip this year as well, though we do not have any info regarding it at the moment, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.