Huawei hooks up with MetroPCS on low-cost Android phone

MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) launched an Android phone for its CDMA network from Huawei, giving the Chinese vendor another avenue into the U.S. handset market.

huawei ascend metropcs $179The flat-rate carrier said it will sell the Huawei Ascend, which runs version 2.1 of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. The device is MetroPCS' second Android phone, after the LG Optimus M. MetroPCS said it will sell the Ascend for $179 without a contract. Competitor Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) also offers the Ascend for $130. The device has a 3.5-inch screen, 3.2-megapixel camera and WiFi.

Huawei, which has struggled to break into the U.S. network infrastructure market, has found a more favorable reception on the handset front. T-Mobile USA also offers a low-cost Android phone from Huawei, the Comet, which it sells for free with a two-year contract and after a $50 rebate. The Comet also retails for $200 as a prepaid device on T-Mobile.

Huawei was the nine-largest handset maker in the world in the third quarter, according to ABI Research.

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Article updated Dec. 14 to reflect that the T-Mobile Comet is free with a two-year contract.