Huawei unwraps Android-based Vision smartphone, plans handset push

Huawei unveiled a new Android smartphone, the Vision, and said the new device is part of a broader push the Chinese vendor is making into consumer-oriented devices for the rest of the year.

Android huawei smartphone vision

Huawei Vision

The company, better known as the world's second largest network infrastructure vendor, said the Vision represents Huawei's push into cloud computing for smartphones. The phone, which runs version 2.3, or Gingerbread, of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, emphasizes Huawei's Cloud+ platform, which will allow users to store music, video, pictures, e-mail and other applications in the cloud.

Huawei said the Vision will sport a 1 GHz Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor, aluminum unibody construction, 3.7-inch touchscreen display, Wi-Fi and a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video recording. The phone's 3D carousel user interface evokes HTC's newest version of its Sense UI. Huawei expects to sell 1 million units of the phone in 2011, and said it will be available in select markets starting in September, though the company did not name a price or carrier partners.

Beyond the phone itself, Huawei is looking to bolster its position in devices more broadly. The company said that sales from its devices unit, which includes handsets and tablets, jumped 64 percent in the first half of 2011 to $4.2 billion. Handsets make up the majority of its volumes, and the company said shipment volumes rose 40 percent in the first half of this year to 72 million units. In June, Huawei took the wraps off its latest tablet creation, the 7-inch Android-powered MediaPad.

Wan Biao, the head of Huawei's device unit, told the Financial Times that the company aims "to be among the world's top three handset brands in 2015," and that it expects revenue growth in the second half of this year to be similar to the first half.

Other companies, including Huawei's Chinese rival ZTE, have begun to make a shift to more consumer-facing devices and marketing, though Huawei faces an uphill climb given the more established vendors ahead of it, including Apple and Samsung.

"In the past, we were focusing on [telecoms] operators only," Victor Xu, chief strategy and marketing officer of Huawei's device unit, told the FT. "Now we are also focusing on consumers."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Reuters article
- see this FT article

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