Huawei Mate 10 to Feature 4,000mAh Battery, Coming on October 16

Huawei continued to ratchet up its hype machine on Thursday by revealing on Twitter that its upcoming Mate 10 smartphone will feature a 4,000mAh battery.

The Chinese company divulged the key detail via social media, which it has previously used to troll Apple as well as promote the built-in artificial intelligence capabilities of its forthcoming flagship device. The tweet was accompanied by the phrase, "#ThatFeeling when your battery lasts all day on a single charge".

Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Image via Evan Blass)

With Samsung, Apple, and Google all having played their cards in the 2017 smartphone wars, Huawei is hoping to make a big splash to round off the year with its Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, set to be officially announced on October 16.

All indications point to both Mate 10 devices sporting a 4,000mAh battery, which would make their cell capacities larger than those of nearly all flagship smartphones to date, including the iPhone 8 Plus (2,675mAh), Galaxy S8+ (3,500mAh), Galaxy Note 8 (3,300mAh), and the Pixel 2 XL (3,550mAh).

However, it's not clear just how much extra juice beyond a day that would get Mate 10 users, given that the handset is likely to boast an energy-sapping 6.1-inch 1440 x 2880 Quad-HD AMOLED display with virtually no bezels. Having said that, the new Kirin 970 processor in the Mate 10 is supposed to be far more energy efficient, which could balance out battery performance.

As previously reported, this will be the first phone in the company's line-up to feature the Kirin 970 mobile chipset, which is based on the same 10-nanometer technology as Apple's A11 Bionic processor found in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. It also has a built-in neural processing unit that utilizes of machine learning, making it a lot faster than a traditional processor, according to the company.

The Mate 10 Pro is thought to cost upwards of $900, with the Mate 10 price starting at $849. Both devices will likely feature Leica rear dual-lens cameras, with 64GB of internal storage and 6GB of RAM as standard. The Mate 10 series to be revealed this month is actually expected to include three smartphones, with a lower-spec device bearing the moniker Huawei Mate 10 Lite.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now)

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Huawei Ad Teases ‘The Real AI Phone’, Mocks Facial Recognition in Clear Dig at Apple

Chinese mobile maker Huawei has taken to trolling Apple in a new Facebook ad that pokes fun at the iPhone X's neural engine and urges people to wait for "the real AI phone" – a reference to its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Mate 10, set to debut next month.

The short ad takes aim at Apple's Face ID feature on the new iPhone X, and uses a jaunty clown emoji animation on a smartphone display to imply that unlocking the device using facial authentication is prone to failure.


The tagline accompanying the ad reads, "Let's face it, facial recognition isn't for everyone. Unlock the future with #TheRealAIPhone. 16.10.2017". Apple famously had to defend itself against doubts about Face ID after a live onstage demo of the technology appeared to backfire.

As reported previously, Huawei's Mate 10 is the first phone in the company's line-up to feature the Kirin 970 AI mobile chipset, which has a built-in neural processing unit that utilizes machine learning, making it "20 times faster" than a traditional processor, according to the company.

The Kirin 970 is based on the same 10-nanometer technology as Apple's latest A11 Bionic processor found in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Like the A11, the new Huawei chip is also said to be more energy efficient, especially when it comes to handling AI-related functions such as image and voice recognition.

Huawei surpassed Apple’s global smartphone sales for the first time in June and July, according to analysis by consulting firm Counterpoint Research, overtaking the U.S. tech giant as the world's second biggest smartphone brand. This appears to have boosted the Chinese mobile maker's confidence that its Mate 10 is the genuine frontrunner to rival Apple's $999 smartphone, particularly in a Chinese market dominated by inexpensive, high-spec alternatives.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tags: China, Huawei

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Apple Facing Struggle to Convince Chinese Smartphone Users to Switch Allegiance

Apple is facing an uphill struggle in its attempts to wean Chinese smartphone users off cheaper rival devices in a saturated mobile market, according to a new Bloomberg report.

With Apple gearing up to sell its most ambitious yet most expensive iPhone yet, local competitors like Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi are already poised to compete by launching their own less expensive feature-packed devices around Apple's September 12 "iPhone 8" launch date.

Unofficial "iPhone 8" poster spotted in Chinese store (via Slashleaks)
While it sticks to a global template that's served it well, local vendors have become adept at technology design while tailoring phones to local tastes, such as with dual SIM capability. In a show of confidence, Huawei Technologies Co., Xiaomi Corp. and likely Vivo -- far from front-running or avoiding the iPhone the way movie studios juggle summer tentpoles -- are tackling the U.S. company head-on by timing new products around the publicity avalanche sure to engulf Apple’s Sept. 12 launch.

"The challenge comes from Vivo, Oppo and Huawei, they can replace Apple in high-end markets priced around $500, even as Apple remains dominant in the ultra high-end $600 plus segment," said Kiranjeet Kaur, an analyst with industry consultancy IDC. "We don't expect big growth as China's market is now very saturated. The biggest demand for the new iPhone will come from the replacement market."
Part of the problem is that many of the features Apple will debut in its so-called "iPhone 8", such as a full-screen display and wireless charging, are already available in some form to consumers in China, albeit at a much lower price point. Adding to the difficulty is that local vendors have become more skilled at efficient smartphone design and are particularly adept at tailoring smartphones to local preferences.

On the software side, the ubiquitous WeChat app has been described as the iPhone's "toughest rival" in the country. The app offers users an entire ecosystem where they can pay for services, text, call cabs, watch videos, play mobile games, and access cloud-based "mini programs", or apps that don't need to be downloaded to a device to be used. WeChat is said to have captured nearly 35 percent of each user's monthly smartphone usage time, averaging about 1 billion monthly active users in total.

Combined, these market factors make it increasingly difficult for Apple to prise away users from rival devices and platforms, which doesn't bode well in a market which the company has historically struggled to penetrate.

To counter these obstacles, Apple has previewed new features coming in iOS 11 that specifically cater to Chinese customers, such as QR code scanning with the native camera app, a keyboard that makes Chinese characters easier to input, and a new mapping app that shows traffic camera locations.

But with supply of new iPhones expected to be tight in the upcoming months, Apple's Chinese rivals may be seeing their best chance yet to lure buyers away with features aimed at local users, such as dual SIM devices that support multiple phone numbers, high capacity memory and storage, and advanced selfie cameras.

Apple and the iPhone have taken fourth place in China, behind Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei, according to market research firm Warren Captial, while in April Kantar Worldpanel's data noted that iOS dropped to its lowest share of the China smartphone market since 2014.

Canalys estimates Apple's Chinese smartphone shipments will grow by just 1.4 percent to 22.5 million units in the second half of 2017. Meanwhile, the upcoming OLED iPhone's rumored $1,000-plus price tag may end up pushing iOS fans toward local alternatives, "because even well-heeled buyers are price-sensitive", said Jia Mo, an analyst from Canalys.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: China, Huawei, Vivo, Oppo

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Apple Facing Struggle to Convince Chinese Smartphone Users to Switch Allegiance

Apple is facing an uphill struggle in its attempts to wean Chinese smartphone users off cheaper rival devices in a saturated mobile market, according to a new Bloomberg report.

With Apple gearing up to sell its most ambitious yet most expensive iPhone yet, local competitors like Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi are already poised to compete by launching their own less expensive feature-packed devices around Apple's September 12 "iPhone 8" launch date.

Unofficial "iPhone 8" poster spotted in Chinese store (via Slashleaks)
While it sticks to a global template that's served it well, local vendors have become adept at technology design while tailoring phones to local tastes, such as with dual SIM capability. In a show of confidence, Huawei Technologies Co., Xiaomi Corp. and likely Vivo -- far from front-running or avoiding the iPhone the way movie studios juggle summer tentpoles -- are tackling the U.S. company head-on by timing new products around the publicity avalanche sure to engulf Apple’s Sept. 12 launch.

"The challenge comes from Vivo, Oppo and Huawei, they can replace Apple in high-end markets priced around $500, even as Apple remains dominant in the ultra high-end $600 plus segment," said Kiranjeet Kaur, an analyst with industry consultancy IDC. "We don't expect big growth as China's market is now very saturated. The biggest demand for the new iPhone will come from the replacement market."
Part of the problem is that many of the features Apple will debut in its so-called "iPhone 8", such as a full-screen display and wireless charging, are already available in some form to consumers in China, albeit at a much lower price point. Adding to the difficulty is that local vendors have become more skilled at efficient smartphone design and are particularly adept at tailoring smartphones to local preferences.

On the software side, the ubiquitous WeChat app has been described as the iPhone's "toughest rival" in the country. The app offers users an entire ecosystem where they can pay for services, text, call cabs, watch videos, play mobile games, and access cloud-based "mini programs", or apps that don't need to be downloaded to a device to be used. WeChat is said to have captured nearly 35 percent of each user's monthly smartphone usage time, averaging about 1 billion monthly active users in total.

Combined, these market factors make it increasingly difficult for Apple to prise away users from rival devices and platforms, which doesn't bode well in a market which the company has historically struggled to penetrate.

To counter these obstacles, Apple has previewed new features coming in iOS 11 that specifically cater to Chinese customers, such as QR code scanning with the native camera app, a keyboard that makes Chinese characters easier to input, and a new mapping app that shows traffic camera locations.

But with supply of new iPhones expected to be tight in the upcoming months, Apple's Chinese rivals may be seeing their best chance yet to lure buyers away with features aimed at local users, such as dual SIM devices that support multiple phone numbers, high capacity memory and storage, and advanced selfie cameras.

Apple and the iPhone have taken fourth place in China, behind Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei, according to market research firm Warren Captial, while in April Kantar Worldpanel's data noted that iOS dropped to its lowest share of the China smartphone market since 2014.

Canalys estimates Apple's Chinese smartphone shipments will grow by just 1.4 percent to 22.5 million units in the second half of 2017. Meanwhile, the upcoming OLED iPhone's rumored $1,000-plus price tag may end up pushing iOS fans toward local alternatives, "because even well-heeled buyers are price-sensitive", said Jia Mo, an analyst from Canalys.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: China, Huawei, Vivo, Oppo

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Huawei Unveils AI Mobile Chipset Said to Rival A11 Processor in Upcoming iPhones

On Saturday, Chinese mobile maker Huawei unveiled its first artificial intelligence smartphone chipset, which it hopes will lure customers away from Apple's upcoming range of new iPhones and towards the Asian company's "most powerful handset yet", the Mate 10, which is set to debut next month (via Nikkei Asian Review).

Huawei touted the Kirin 970 AI mobile chipset's built-in "neural processing unit" at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, claiming that the technology is "20 times faster" than a traditional processor.

Mate 10 handset render via Weibo
"The Kirin 970 is faster, better and more secure than anything else available [in the market]. This is the latest technology and it is the first chip to have a neural processing unit inside, which is 20 times faster than a central processing unit," said Richard Yu, chief of Huawei's consumer business group.

"It is a major breakthrough for Huawei. We will enable the first use of AI technology in mobile apps, and provide consumers with a never-before-seen AI experience right in the palm of their hands," he added.
The world's third largest smartphone maker claimed that mobile devices powered by the Kirin 970 will be able to "truly know and understand their users", by supporting real-time image recognition, voice interaction, and intelligent photography with ease.

"Compared with Samsung and Apple, we have advantages," Yu said in an interview with Reuters. "Users are in for much faster (feature) performance, longer battery life and more compact design."

According to Nikkei, the Kirin 970 integrates 5.5 billion transistors in a single square centimeter about the size of a thumbnail, which includes an octa-core central processing unit, a 12-core graphics processing unit, a dual-image signal processor, a high-speed 1.2Gbps Cat.18 modem, and AI mobile computing architecture.

The Kirin 970 is said to be based on the same 10-nanometer technology as Apple's existing A10X Fusion processor and the A11 processor that will power its new iPhone range, set to debut this month. The A10X powers Apple's latest 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablets, making them the first consumer devices to feature a chip built on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's advanced 10-nanometer FinFET technology.

Mark Li, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, claimed that the new chip powering Huawei's Mate 10 may be better than the chips for the new iPhone range. "The new Huawei chip can be 10 times as powerful as an average smartphone chip, and also more energy efficient, when it comes to handling AI-related functions such as image and voice recognition," Li said. But he added that the popularity of the chip would depend on whether Huawei is able exploit its power in a killer AI app.

The Mate 10 is said to be a bezel-less all-screen handset with a 6-inch, 2:1 display and a 2,160 x 1,080 resolution. Like Apple's so-called "iPhone 8", the Mate 10 is also expected to feature some form of facial recognition and improved cameras.

Huawei aims to become the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021, ahead of both Apple and Samsung, and the latest market share data suggests it is making headway towards that goal.

The company shipped an estimated 38.4 million smartphones in the June quarter, a 20 percent increase over a year ago, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. By comparison, Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones in the same period, up nearly 2 percent from 40.4 million iPhones in the year-ago quarter.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: Huawei, A11 chip

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Huawei Unveils AI Mobile Chipset Said to Rival A11 Processor in Upcoming iPhones

On Saturday, Chinese mobile maker Huawei unveiled its first artificial intelligence smartphone chipset, which it hopes will lure customers away from Apple's upcoming range of new iPhones and towards the Asian company's "most powerful handset yet", the Mate 10, which is set to debut next month (via Nikkei Asian Review).

Huawei touted the Kirin 970 AI mobile chipset's built-in "neural processing unit" at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, claiming that the technology is "20 times faster" than a traditional processor.

Mate 10 handset render via Weibo
"The Kirin 970 is faster, better and more secure than anything else available [in the market]. This is the latest technology and it is the first chip to have a neural processing unit inside, which is 20 times faster than a central processing unit," said Richard Yu, chief of Huawei's consumer business group.

"It is a major breakthrough for Huawei. We will enable the first use of AI technology in mobile apps, and provide consumers with a never-before-seen AI experience right in the palm of their hands," he added.
The world's third largest smartphone maker claimed that mobile devices powered by the Kirin 970 will be able to "truly know and understand their users", by supporting real-time image recognition, voice interaction, and intelligent photography with ease.

"Compared with Samsung and Apple, we have advantages," Yu said in an interview with Reuters. "Users are in for much faster (feature) performance, longer battery life and more compact design."

According to Nikkei, the Kirin 970 integrates 5.5 billion transistors in a single square centimeter about the size of a thumbnail, which includes an octa-core central processing unit, a 12-core graphics processing unit, a dual-image signal processor, a high-speed 1.2Gbps Cat.18 modem, and AI mobile computing architecture.

The Kirin 970 is said to be based on the same 10-nanometer technology as Apple's existing A10X Fusion processor and the A11 processor that will power its new iPhone range, set to debut this month. The A10X powers Apple's latest 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablets, making them the first consumer devices to feature a chip built on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's advanced 10-nanometer FinFET technology.

Mark Li, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, claimed that the new chip powering Huawei's Mate 10 may be better than the chips for the new iPhone range. "The new Huawei chip can be 10 times as powerful as an average smartphone chip, and also more energy efficient, when it comes to handling AI-related functions such as image and voice recognition," Li said. But he added that the popularity of the chip would depend on whether Huawei is able exploit its power in a killer AI app.

The Mate 10 is said to be a bezel-less all-screen handset with a 6-inch, 2:1 display and a 2,160 x 1,080 resolution. Like Apple's so-called "iPhone 8", the Mate 10 is also expected to feature some form of facial recognition and improved cameras.

Huawei aims to become the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021, ahead of both Apple and Samsung, and the latest market share data suggests it is making headway towards that goal.

The company shipped an estimated 38.4 million smartphones in the June quarter, a 20 percent increase over a year ago, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. By comparison, Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones in the same period, up nearly 2 percent from 40.4 million iPhones in the year-ago quarter.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: Huawei, A11 chip

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Chinese Mobile Makers Set to Ride Wave of ‘iPhone 8’ Fever With All-Screen Models

China-based smartphone vendors are set to follow Apple lockstep into the all-screen handset era as competition in the Chinese smartphone market heats up in the second half of 2017 (via DigiTimes).

With much of the media attention focused on the imminent launch of Apple's "iPhone 8" with edge-to-edge OLED display this September, rival mobile makers including Huawei, Xiaomi, and Gionee have been quietly pushing ahead with their own all-screen alternatives.

Mi Mix 2 concept by Benjamin Geskin

Following a successful comeback in the Chinese smartphone market in the first half of 2017 after a setback the previous year, Xiaomi plans to further enhance its position with the upcoming release of its Mi Mix 2, according to industry sources.

MacRumors readers may recall the company's first Mi Mix which raised eyebrows in October 2016 for its almost bezel-free design, despite largely being considered a "concept phone" rather than a mass market device. The second-generation model aims to change that perception, with Xiaomi set to boost supply in order to grab more market share.

Meanwhile, Huawei has reportedly stepped up its purchases from component suppliers since the beginning of the third quarter for a planned rollout of its next-generation flagship model, the Huawei Mate 10. The device is said to feature a 6-inch 18:9 (2:1) all-screen AMOLED display from Japan Display.

Elsewhere, Gionee will continue its aggressive strategy – which began with the release of the world's first four camera (dual front and back camera) phone, the Gionee 10 – by rolling out all-screen models of its flagship devices in time for the second half of 2017, according to sources.

Even smaller mobile vendors have gotten in on the act, with Japan-based Sharp making a return to China's smartphone market recently with the launch of its all-screen model, the Aquos S2, priced at CNY2,499 ($375), targeting the mid-tier segment.

Last year Apple experienced its first ever year-over-year decline in the Chinese smartphone market, with the company's phones continuing to be outpaced by cheaper alternatives and the iPhone 7 failing to kick up a frenzy among consumers compared to previous launches, according to analysts.

Apple faced a similar story at the beginning of the current year. Despite recording record results, Apple's Q1 2017 earnings call revealed revenue was down 8 percent in China, but CEO Tim Cook claimed half of that decline was down to currency devaluation.

Apple currently stands in fifth place in China's booming smartphone market, where combined sales reached 131.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, accounting for nearly a third of worldwide shipments.

It remains to be seen whether the iterative "S" cycle updates to its iPhone 7 range due this fall, combined with the appeal of a premium alternative in the form of the so-called "iPhone 8", will help to boost its success in these booming Sino markets, which are typically dominated by cheaper-priced, high-spec handsets.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: Huawei, Xiaomi

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Apple May Briefly Drop to World’s Third Largest Smartphone Maker For First Time Since 2011

Chinese company Huawei will likely become the world's second largest smartphone maker in the third quarter, based on shipments from July through September, according to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes.


The report, citing sources from Taiwan's handset supply chain, said sales of Huawei's high-end smartphones like the P10 and Mate 9, as well as its more affordable Honor-branded models, have continued to gain momentum. Enough momentum, perhaps, to briefly overtake Apple's iPhone.

Huawei shipped 38.4 million smartphones last quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Buoyed by seasonal factors, the supply chain sources believe Huawei will continue to ramp up its shipments to over 40 million units this quarter, which could eclipse iPhone shipments over the same period.

Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones last quarter, but that total could drop slightly this quarter due to frequent rumors about the highly-anticipated iPhone 8, which may lead some customers to delay purchasing a new iPhone.

"We do think that based on the amount of rumors, and the volume of them, that there's some pause in our current numbers," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, referring to iPhone sales. "Where that affects us in the short term, even though we had great results, it probably bodes well later on."

Apple hasn't reported lower iPhone sales in the September-ending quarter versus the June-ending quarter since 2011, however, so if customers truly are holding off, it'll be the first decline over the summer in six years.

It would also be the first time that Apple drops out of the top two spots in smartphone shipments since 2011.

It's quite possible, however, that Apple launches its new iPhone lineup in early September and, in line with the past five years, begins shipping the smartphones to customers by mid month. And given the current quarter doesn't end until September 30, Apple could still outpace Huawei with a few weeks of strong sales.

Even if the launch is delayed, sales of the new iPhone lineup in the following quarter will almost certainly be well above Huawei's.

For what it's worth, Apple probably isn't too concerned about where it ranks in smartphone shipments. First, shipments within distribution channels don't necessarily reflect sales to end customers. Second, Apple cashes in the overwhelming majority of profits in the smartphone industry.

Huawei, on the other hand, will likely feel quite accomplished if it can surpass the iconic iPhone for even one quarter.

The company, based in Shenzhen, China, has set a lofty goal of becoming the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021. It's been making an aggressive push into Europe and Canada, and AT&T has reportedly tentatively agreed to sell at least one flagship Huawei smartphone in the first half of next year.

"Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters," said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa with popular Android models such as the P10 and Mate 9."

Huawei held just 1 percent market share in the United States as of the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.

Tag: Huawei

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Huawei Boosts Goal of Outselling iPhone as AT&T Agrees to Carry Its Upcoming Flagship

AT&T has tentatively agreed to sell a flagship smartphone made by Chinese company Huawei, according to The Information.


The report, citing people familiar with the matter, said the device AT&T carries may resemble Huawei's upcoming Mate 10 smartphone, a new high-end model that the company is rumored to unveil in Europe this October. However, the smartphone could have a different name in the United States.
A deal isn’t finalized until the phone clears all the technical hurdles and the companies agree on the commercial terms of the release. Huawei’s engineers are working on hardware and software modifications that are necessary for meeting U.S. telecom standards and AT&T’s requirements, the people said.
The partnership would be a major win for Huawei, already the world's third largest smartphone maker by market share.

Huawei is the most popular smartphone maker in China, and it has aggressively pushed into Canada and several European countries, but it has considerably less brand awareness in the United States, where it lacks agreements with the big four carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and until now, AT&T.

American customers have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon to purchase a Huawei smartphone, reducing the brand's visibility in a country where Apple and Samsung reign supreme.

Huawei's reputation also suffered when it was banned from selling network equipment in the United States. In 2012, citing a risk to national security, a U.S. congressional report raised concerns that Huawei could build backdoors in their equipment to leak sensitive information from the U.S. to China.

Huawei has denied those claims, and the company has expressed hope that the ban will eventually be lifted. Of note, the ban doesn't appear to affect Huawei's ability to sell smartphones in the United States.

A deal with AT&T could help Huawei achieve its lofty goal of becoming the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021, a feat that would require leapfrogging both Apple and Samsung in sales.

Huawei shipped an estimated 38.4 million smartphones in the June quarter, a 20 percent increase over a year ago, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. By comparison, Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones in the same period, up nearly 2 percent from the year-ago quarter.

"Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters," said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa with popular Android models such as the P10 and Mate 9."

Huawei held just 1 percent market share in the United States as of the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.


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Huawei Boosts Goal of Outselling iPhone as AT&T Agrees to Carry Its Upcoming Flagship

AT&T has tentatively agreed to sell a flagship smartphone made by Chinese company Huawei, according to The Information.


The report, citing people familiar with the matter, said the device AT&T carries may resemble Huawei's upcoming Mate 10 smartphone, a new high-end model that the company is rumored to unveil in Europe this October. However, the smartphone could have a different name in the United States.
A deal isn’t finalized until the phone clears all the technical hurdles and the companies agree on the commercial terms of the release. Huawei’s engineers are working on hardware and software modifications that are necessary for meeting U.S. telecom standards and AT&T’s requirements, the people said.
The partnership would be a major win for Huawei, already the world's third largest smartphone maker by market share.

Huawei is the most popular smartphone maker in China, and it has aggressively pushed into Canada and several European countries, but it has considerably less brand awareness in the United States, where it lacks agreements with the big four carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and until now, AT&T.

American customers have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon to purchase a Huawei smartphone, reducing the brand's visibility in a country where Apple and Samsung reign supreme.

Huawei's reputation also suffered when it was banned from selling network equipment in the United States. In 2012, citing a risk to national security, a U.S. congressional report raised concerns that Huawei could build backdoors in their equipment to leak sensitive information from the U.S. to China.

Huawei has denied those claims, and the company has expressed hope that the ban will eventually be lifted. Of note, the ban doesn't appear to affect Huawei's ability to sell smartphones in the United States.

A deal with AT&T could help Huawei achieve its lofty goal of becoming the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021, a feat that would require leapfrogging both Apple and Samsung in sales.

Huawei shipped an estimated 38.4 million smartphones in the June quarter, a 20 percent increase over a year ago, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. By comparison, Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones in the same period, up nearly 2 percent from the year-ago quarter.

"Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters," said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa with popular Android models such as the P10 and Mate 9."

Huawei held just 1 percent market share in the United States as of the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.


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