Samsung is in talks with several smartphone manufacturers regarding supply of mobile processor chips, including ZTE, according to a senior executive.
While Samsung’s flagship Exynos chip powers the company’s entire line of Galaxy phones, the chipset is only supplied to one client, China’s Meizu Technology.
“We are talking to all OEMs [original equipment manufacturers],” Inyup Kang, head of Samsung’s logic chip developer System LSI, told Reuters in an interview.
Kang said he expects Samsung will announce a new client for the Exynos chipset in the first half of 2019.
For now, though, Kang said the business is expected to see a five to 10 percent revenue growth this year.
In a later statement to Reuters, Samsung said there is no certainty that a deal will be reached with ZTE, stating that its policy is to treat all vendors equally.
According to research firm Counterpoint, Samsung’s use of Exynos chips in its own smartphone business have helped the company become the fastest growing player in this market, despite lagging behind Qualcomm and Apple in shipments overall.
ZTE, meanwhile, has been looking for new suppliers, as the United States has recently banned companies from selling to the Chinese manufacturer for seven years after it violated terms of a settlement deal for illegally shipping goods made with U.S. parts to Iran and North Korea.