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Huawei to enter smartphone market in 2009

10 ноября 2008

Huawei's terminals division this week revealed plans to enter the fast-growing smartphone sector with a global launch scheduled for the first half of 2009.

The Chinese vendor did not disclose the specifications of the high-end handsets in development, or how many different models it intends to launch, but confirmed the phones will use Android as well as Symbian operating systems.

Huawei said the use of the two platforms ties in with its strategy of customising handsets for individual operator partners.

"Windows Mobile is already well supported by a number of software developers, but with Android and Symbian we can demonstrate our own customisable software and services," said James Chen, director of marketing at Huawei Terminals Business, at a briefing in Shenzhen this week.

Referring to Android, he noted that Google's open source mobile operating system will enable Huawei to provide a "deep level of customisation".

Chen also explained that the handset unit's white-label tailoring service will enable operators to launch their own-branded smartphones, helping them to maintain their position in the mobile value chain.

While Huawei has made the decision to take on the likes of Nokia, Samsung, RIM and Apple in the smartphone sector, the vendor insists its main focus remains the mid to low-end handset market.

"Our strategy is different to that of Nokia and Samsung," said Chen.

"We see an urgent need for operators to grow their subscribers with low and medium [cost] handsets," he commented.

However, the financial crisis has triggered a slowdown in consumer spending, with many of the big handset vendors reporting sluggish third-quarter shipments, so the first half of next year may prove to be a risky time to attempt to crack a new segment.

Yet Huawei remains unperturbed.

"We do see the spending of operators and customers decreasing... but for Huawei this is also an opportunity," said Chen.

"Subscribers will turn to vendors which are offering higher quality and better services at a lower cost. We still believe we can achieve progress in this unfavourable environment," he said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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