Huawei, The Latest Android Player: Who Are These Guys?
By Jeff Bertolucci
Huawei, a multinational telecommunications company based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, has been generating a lot of mobile buzz lately.
At this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Huawei launched its Ascend D quad-cord smartphones, which the company claims are the “world’s fastest.” It also unveiled the MediaPad 10 FHD, a 10.1-inch, quad-core tablet that will run Android 4.0 when it ships in the second quarter.
Obviously, Huawei doesn’t shy away from hyperbole. And yet despite the company’s brash marketing and seemingly innovative products, few Americans have heard of the company–which operates in 140-plus countries and employs more than 100,000 people.
“These guys are no strangers to the mobile phone market, but they are relative strangers to end users, says IDC mobile analyst Ramon Llamas.
“If you polled a hundred people in Times Square in New York City and said, ‘Name as many mobile phone vendors as you can,’ I’d be very surprised in anybody named Huawei,” Llamas adds.
Huawei Wants to Be Like HTC and ZTE
Like fellow Chinese telecommunication giant ZTE, Huawei wants a piece of the lucrative U.S. mobile market. Both companies’ ambitious plans have raised concerns in Washington. Last November, a U.S. House intelligence committee launched an investigation into Huawei and ZTE to see if the mobile equipment suppliers posed a threat to U.S. security.
Like HTC, a Taiwanese manufacturer of smartphones and tablets that went from being a “white box” contract builder for other vendors to an established brand, Huawei hopes to make a name for itself in the North America. But that’s not easy.