Huawei Ascends to the High End Smartphone Market

by Matt Klassen on June 20, 2013

Looking to take the high-end global smartphone market by storm, or at least some of it, Chinese telecom giant Huawei launched the world’s thinnest smartphone yesterday—the Ascend P6, which is 6.18mm thick and runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean—a signal to all other players in the worldwide market that the company means business.

With almost no footprint in the North American mobile market, and with the U.S. government issuing security warnings about the company, it comes as no surprise to hear that Huawei has bypassed our completely saturated and practically stagnating market space, choosing instead to focus on burgeoning markets like its homeland China, and other more established markets like Europe.

The Chinese company, the second largest telecommunications equipment provider in the world, is better known in the mobile realm for its low-end options, the Ascend P6 serving as the company’s first foray into the classier (and more profitable) high end mobile market. Competing against the likes of Samsung and Apple, Huawei certainly has its challenges cut out for it, but the company is optimistic that its unique branding, affordability, and feature-rich offerings will attract many to the Huawei brand.

Although not widely known in the mobile market here in North America, Huawei has quietly risen to the number four spot worldwide, thanks in large part to its Nokia-like quantity-over-quality marketing strategy that has allowed it to dominate the budget mobile market in China. The company’s new Ascend P6, however, is a distinct departure from its usual modus operandi, a high end smartphone designed to compete directly with the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy franchise.

The phone will be available in a select number of colours, white, black, and baby pink, and with language more at home in some new revolutionary skin rejuvenation regime, as the Guardian writes. “Its maker claims the camera’s ‘instant facial beauty support’ software reduces wrinkles and blends skin tone.”

Confusing beauty references not usually associated with technology aside, the company’s Ascend P6 is powered by a 1.5-GHz quad-core processor, sports a 4.7-inch HD display, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera (an industry best I would guess, compared to what Apple and Samsung have on offer), an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2000 mAh battery.

If Huawei is able to crack the higher-end market, it will mean good news for everyone, as increased competition will drive down the cost of all devices, as carriers will have more leverage to negotiate better rates from the likes of Apple and Samsung. Further, by offering a high end smartphone as a lower cost option, compared to Apple or Samsung, carriers will be able to coax all those who still use feature phones due to the increased cost of smartphones, further incentive for the incumbents to offer more competitive pricing.

In the end, while the news that Huawei is entering the high end smartphone market has little impact here at home—as we won’t see the phone unless the American government stops its communist witch hunt—should the Chinese company find success it would have far reaching implications in the global smartphone market, as companies like Apple and Samsung will be forced to look for different ways to compete in the many burgeoning smartphone markets.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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