Samsung entered into talks with “several smartphone makers” about supplying them with its Exynos device processors, putting it into closer competition to Qualcomm.

Bloomberg reported that – unsurprisingly – troubled Chinese device maker ZTE is one of the interested parties, as a way of mitigating the issues it is encountering sourcing chips from the US. However, Samsung clarified there is no guarantee a deal with ZTE will take place, and its policy would be to treat all partners equally.

Inyup Kang, head of Samsung’s System LSI unit, told Reuters a deal could be announced with another handset maker early in 2019.

To date, Samsung has used Exynos chips in its own devices, although it has also sourced processors from companies including Qualcomm and MediaTek. The only other vendor offering devices powered by Samsung chips is Meizu.

While the use of Exynos chips has been seen as a way for Samsung to exert greater control of its device supply chain, including end-to-end technology management, the vendor also already has a profitable business selling components to companies which includes its rivals.