LAS VEGAS -- Huawei, armed with what it claims are "the world’s slimmest" smartphones, came to the Consumer Electronics Show with one mission: Blast away any preconceptions U.S. consumers might have about a little-known Chinese brand.
With its newly branded Ascend midrange to high-end mobile phones, Huawei Device, a subsidiary of China’s telecom infrastructure giant, is eager to make inroads in the U.S. consumer market.
The new Huawei Ascend P1 and P1S, running on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, feature Samsung’s 4.3-inch, 960 x 540 AMOLED touchscreen; Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4417 apps processor; and Intel’s modem supporting UMTS 5 brands. The Ascend P1S measures a mere 6.68 mm (0.26 inch), thick; the P1 is a tad thicker, at 7.69 mm. “With TI’s dual-core processor running at 1.5 GHz, our phones load Web pages much faster, leaving others behind,” said Richard Yu, chairman of Huawei Device.
Don’t think that Huawei is all about integrating other companies’ chips, though. The company has been hatching a plot to go after the modem chip market as well. “We are rolling out our own LTE modem chip in the third quarter of this year,” Yu said, adding that the LTE chip will be multimode.
Thus far, Huawei has been using Qualcomm’s LTE and CDMA modem chips for Huawei’s mobile phones for certain geographical markets. The company may continue to do so but thought it was important to have its own modem chips, said Yu.
Huawei designers stressed that both the Ascend P1 and P1S are not just slim but compact as well, designed to fit comfortably in the user's hand. They are slated for U.S. launch before the summer, according to Yu.
Huawei isn’t another me-too mobile company from China; Yu emphasized the company’s heritage as a telecom infrastructure leader.
“We know about infrastructure. We have designed our handsets to do faster signal detection for quicker connections,” he said.
Asked how he planned to overcome the challenge of selling products with a little known brand in the U.S. market, Yu said, “That’s a very good question. But with the launch of our new ‘flagship’ products, featuring the best performance and the best quality of all the smartphones in the industry, we are confident that consumers will accept our products.”
He noted that Huawei’s smartphones were already selling in Japan and that Japanese consumers—who can be fickle at times—had embraced the new brand.To read EE Times' full CES coverage, please visit here.
Huawei shows off two new smartphone models running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS