More thoughts from Huawei launch

09 Nov 2011

Monday’s press launch taught us that Microsoft is pursuing Huawei Device for Android patents, but there’s a few other questions I’d have asked if there was time.

First up, why did it choose its own moniker rather than something a bit more consumer friendly? Sure, the journalists at the launch know the name and how to say it, but Mark Mitchinson, UK and Ireland vice president, later had to explain it to the crowd attending the post-launch party.

Second, what is the true point of differentiation with the Vision smartphone and MediaPad tablet? Mitchinson noted that the firm is spending the next six months developing partnerships in open sales channels, which appears to be an attempt to differentiate at a retail level rather than the consumer end.

Third, what other software platforms is the firm considering? Mitchinson stated it is using “Android initially,” hinting the vendor is adopting a multi-operating system strategy.

The devices themselves are at least on-par with every other touch screen smartphone, with decent graphics and gaming, vibrating feedback when you touch the screen, and a host of one-touch apps and Web access. Mitchinson believes the MediaPad’s seven-inch form factor will be more appealing to women than larger tablets, which he claims are mostly kept at home by men.

I reckon the firm’s plan to open a design center in London is a clever move. The center will help Huawei tailor its devices to western trends, and might even come up with something to break the current smartphone mould in terms of industrial design.

The center is one of three Huawei is planning to establish across the globe, so the firm is certainly cracking on with its localization strategy.

I’m not sure the sites will be enough to propel Huawei Device to the dizzy heights of the world’s third-largest smartphone seller within five years – a target set out by chief marketing officer Victor Xu.

However his goal of a top five place in three years sounds more achievable. Domestic rival ZTE has already blazed a trail to a top four slot in global handset sales during the third quarter, and is on-track to hit a full year smartphone shipment target of 12 million units, research firm IDC claims.

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