Huawei aims to sell 80 mn smartphones in 2014

Jan 06, 2014
Colin Giles, Executive president of Huawei Consumer Business Group, speaks during a press event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei said Monday it aims to sell 80 million smartphones in 2014, as it boosts its brand name worldwide and makes a new push for US consumers.

The Chinese firm also unveiled its new large-screen smartphone, or phablet, which will be sold in the US market and compete against devices like Samsung's Galaxy Note.

The new Ascend 2 Mate can outperform rivals with high-speed performance, a large 6.1-inch screen and of two days even with heavy use, Huawei Consumer chief executive Richard Yu said in unveiling the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Huawei is battling for the number three spot in global sales, but has only limited presence in the United States.

A unique feature of the Ascend, said Yu, is "reverse charging," to allow it to be used to top up batteries on rival smartphones which might be running low on power. He demonstrated that by connecting an iPhone to the Ascend with a cable at the Las Vegas press event.

Huawei, which has faced criticism in the United States over the extent of its ties to the Chinese government and military, is seeking to boost its brand presence among consumers, moving away from manufacturing for other labels.

"We want to be a great consumer brand in the world," Yu said.

The new phablet will replace the Ascend Mate unveiled a year ago and sold in some 40 markets, not including the United States.

Yu said the phone has an upgraded front-facing cameras for "selfies," and a new "intuitive" interface that simplifies the Android operating system.

The new phone supports all major mobile networks and uses high-speed LTE technology to deliver the fastest Internet connections.

But he said the biggest concern among consumers was battery life, and Huawei responded with the longest-lasting of any manufacturer.

"This can work for two days, even for heavy users," he said.

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