You might not know it to look at retail stores in the US or Europe, but Huawei has quickly become one of the world's largest phone manufacturers, even while it keeps most of its high-end hardware restricted to China. The company is showing off its engineering and manufacturing chops with the Honor 6 Plus, a new 5.5-inch phone slated to hit the market on December 23rd. It, uh, might look a little familiar.
Huawei took a lot of heat when it told North American customers a few weeks ago that the Ascend Mate2 would not be getting the promised KitKat update. The original post was removed after the comments got ugly, and now Huawei is backtracking. After "reassessing" the decision to cancel KitKat on the Mate2, Huawei will go all the way to Lollipop, but not until some time in the first half of 2015.
Buyers of the Huawei Ascend Mate2 in the US are fuming today over news that there won't be a KitKat update for this device. It's not unusual for older devices to be left in the dust, but the Mate2 was announced in early 2014 and only went on sale for US consumers in June of this year. Huawei has shown some interest in breaking into the US market as of late, but the Chinese OEM is going to have trouble if this is the kind of support we can expect.
I've been writing about Android phones for over three years, and I'm going to be honest: I still think I'm pronouncing "Huawei" wrong. (Wah-way. WAA-whey. Hoo-waa-way.) Huawei is perfectly aware that their branding outside of Asia isn't exactly stellar, and it looks like they're taking steps to improve it. Say hello to "Honor," a new Huawei sub-brand introduced to Europe this week. The first phone launched under the label will be the Honor 6.
I know there are more than a few American readers who took a chance on this post, clicking on the headline even though they know the presence of Huawei's name likely means that everything they're about to read won't apply to them. The Ascend Mate 2 is one device that runs counter to this expectation. Huawei sells the phone directly to consumers online, including folks who live in the US.
Huawei isn't a household name in America, and it's really not even one throughout Europe at this point, either. However, in China and much of southeast Asia, Huawei has been a rapidly emerging dominant force in the smartphone industry, and consistently tried to differentiate its products in the marketplace through engineering know-how. While this hasn't always worked out, especially in America, Huawei is without a doubt one of the most advanced smartphone OEMs out there.
Nine out of ten times when we report on a lawsuit, it has something to do with patents or trademarks. I'll admit that those posts can get a little dull, but they're important for the world of consumer electronics. If you've been waiting for something a little juicier in your tech legal news, have we got a story for you. The Seattle Times reports that American cellular carrier T-Mobile is suing Huawei, a giant provider of telecom infrastructure hardware and currently the third-biggest manufacturer of phones on the planet, for stealing a robot.
The last Ascend Mate from Huawei was an interesting device with an affordable price point, but you had to make some sacrifices to get comfortable with that sweet phablet-y goodness. It was only 720p, had an older processor, and the storage was lacking. The newly announced Ascend Mate7 is a big phone with many fewer sacrifices.
The specs are a lot more presentable this time around. Here's what we've got to work with.
Samsung was the first to selectively boost system performance when a benchmark app was run, but it was forced to backpedal pretty quickly on that one. The latest OEM to try and sneak one past the benchmarks is Huawei with its new-ish Ascend P7. Futuremark is wise to this game, though, and has pulled the P7 from the 3DMark top phone charts.
The IDC has released a snapshot of the state of the industry following the end of the second quarter, and as always, some players are doing better than others. In this case, Chinese manufacturers are the biggest winners, benefiting both from growth at home and increasing success abroad.
Despite offering a bajillion different types of devices, Samsung saw its market share drop seven full percentage points down to 25.2% of the market.