Singapore – Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Wednesday vowed to catch up with its more
popular rivals Apple and Samsung after unveiling its newest phone for the first
time in Asia.
Huawei unveiled its Ascend P6 at the CommunicAsia telecom and broadcast
event in Singapore just hours after its global launch in London, billing it as the
world's thinnest smartphone.
"I generally do not comment on competitors but it is a class of its
own," said Tang Siew Wai, a regional marketing director for Huawei, when
asked how it will compete with Apple and Samsung.
"It's a beautiful phone, thinnest, and the best camera that you can
ever get – front-facing 5 megapixel camera and rear-facing camera of 8
(megapixels) with 2.0 aperture," he told reporters.
Build good foundation
Tang said Huawei lags in brand recognition behind Apple's iPhone and Samsung,
maker of the popular Galaxy series of mobile phones.
But he said Huawei was taking steps to catch up.
"We believe we are a long distance runner," Tang said, adding:
"Brand doesn't come in a day, you need time to... lay the foundation,
build a very good foundation of it. Our brand mantra is 'make it
"Many years back, no one knew Huawei but now we've gotten a lot of
media attention so we have made something possible here," he said.
Huawei had only a 4.7% share of the global smartphone market in the first
quarter of 2013, according to industry analysts IDC.
Samsung led with a market share of 30.7%, following by Apple at 17.8% and LG
Tang said the Ascend P6 – which weighs 120g and has a 119.5mm touch-screen –
will be available in China this month, in Europe by July and Southeast Asia
within the year.
"We are ramping up the production," he said.
The phone, which is just 6.18mm thick, comes with a recommended retail price
An iPhone 5 phone goes between $649 and $849, depending on the size of the
storage, while Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, sells at
$649 in the US market.
Huawei started as a provider of telecom network equipment and is now seeking
to make inroads into mobile devices.
But the company, founded by a former engineer in the Chinese army, has also
found controversy abroad for its traditional line of business.
The US Congress last year warned that network equipment supplied by Huawei
could be used for espionage and called for its exclusion from government
contracts and acquisitions.
Huawei has denied those claims and accused the US government of protectionism.