Huawei eyes No 1 by closing gap with new P Smart device in 2019

2 Jan 2019

The soon-to-be-launched P Smart 2019. Image: Huawei

Despite ‘unfair treatment’, Chinese tech and telecoms giant is going all out to win in smartphones and 5G.

Huawei sold 200m smartphones worldwide in 2018 and has revealed that a new device, the P Smart, which is aimed at the mid-market, will be launched in February.

In recent weeks, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker announced that shipments of smartphones continued to rise despite the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, and the recent arrest and subsequent release on bail of its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver.

‘Huawei has never and will never present a security threat’

In Q3, Huawei sold around 52m devices, behind the 72m figure by Samsung and above the 47m sold by Apple, affirming its number two position, according to IDC, and positioning it in reach of number one.

Phone wars

Huawei chair Guo Ping last week said the company expects to see a 21pc rise in revenues for 2018. Guo said that the company had signed 26 commercial contracts for its 5G technology despite a trying year.

Guo added: “Huawei has never and will never present a security threat. Setbacks will only makes us more courageous, and incredibly unfair treatment will drive us to become the world’s number one.”

Guo’s statement was swiftly followed in recent days with the news that Huawei will launch the new P Smart device in February.

P Smart 2019

A mid-market device aimed at young consumers, it is clear that the P Smart will target the market currently served by the Apple iPhone XR.

The 6.2in device will come with a pearl-shaped notch and almost bezel-less face, a display with 2340 by 1080 resolution, and a 3,400mAh battery. It will feature an octa-core Kirin 710 chipset and AI cameras in the front and rear of the device. It is capable of up to 96 hours of continuous music playback, 10 hours of continuous 4G browsing and 18 hours of video playback. It will also come with the Android 9 Pie-based operating system along with Huawei’s own EMUI 9.0 software.

The P Smart is tipped to launch on 1 February, weeks ahead of the telecoms industry’s annual Mobile World Congress shindig in Barcelona. It will retail from €199 on prepay and is free with bill pay from Eir, Carphone Warehouse and Three. It will come in two colours, Midnight Black and Aurora Blue, with the latter option exclusive to Three.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years