- SMB Spotlight
Huawei is to launch its first high-end Android smartphone in the UK later this year as the firm looks to build on a successful first quarter and establish itself as a major player in the mobile device market.
Victor Xu, chief strategy and marketing officer at Huawei, told V3.co.uk that the flagship Vision will come with a 3.7in display and ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
V3.co.uk was given a sneak peek of a prototype at a press event in London on Friday, showing Huawei's own, as yet unnamed, custom 3D interface. The device bore a striking resemblance to the HTC Desire S on first impressions.
Specifications are yet to be fully confirmed, but are expected to be similar to other high-end Android devices on the market. However, it was noted that the Vision should be upgradable to Android Ice Cream Sandwich in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The smartphone is pencilled in to be released in the UK during the second half of the year, costing somewhere between £250 and £400.
The Vision will form an integral part of Huawei's strategy in 2011. Xu noted that the firm shipped over three million smartphones in the first quarter and is projecting sales of 12 to 15 million units by the end of the year.
Huawei sees the UK as a key market to help it become one of the world's top-five mobile device manufacturers, Xu continued.
Huawei is actively working to establish a partnership with Microsoft, and is looking at the possibility of integrating NFC technology into devices.
"We are in discussions with Microsoft and will probably bring a [Windows Phone] device to market next year," Xu said. "NFC is going to start taking off this year and integrating the technology into devices is a minor cost. [However], the Vision will not ship with NFC."
In an attempt to further differentiate itself from competitors, Huawei is looking at building cloud-based devices.
These handsets will aim to be cheaper, as they will primarily use cloud storage and contain only "basic components such as the CPU", according to Xu.
Unsurprisingly, Huawei is also looking to use its background in networking and telecoms to work with operators on providing mobile internet.
The firm could team up with networks to offer a guaranteed faster mobile internet service at a premium price, Xu added.