You might remember last week we featured the Huawei Vision, which will be launching in 'selected markets' from next month, presumably including the UK. Well, it still might, but the company's first own-brand phone in the UK is likely to be another model, the Huawei Blaze.Not that Huawei is a stranger to the UK market. The Chinese manufacturer has been making 'white label' phones for the UK for a couple of years, with the Huawei name replaced by the name of a mobile network. Rather like HTC used to do, in fact. We suspect the HTC success story in moving from maker to brand is likely to be an inspiration for Huawei in the next couple of years. Speaking to Bloomberg, Huawei's UK executive VP Mark Mitchinson said: 'We're trying to establish the brand, almost from scratch,' adding that the company will be competing with 'anyone involved in Android'. He also claimed that the company is looking to go from nothing to a 4 or 5% share of the branded smartphone market in 2012.
According to Crave, the first headline handset, the Huawei Blaze, is set for a September launch, with price certainly on its side. The Blaze is said to be a budget Android smartphone, running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and packing (amongst other things) a 3.2-inch touch-screen. With a price as low as £100, it could well appeal to anyone taking a first step into the world of Android.
However, it's certainly not a groundbreaking phone, not the kind of phone to get you an instantly dominant position in the market, that's for sure. But let's get real – it has taken HTC over five years to get from phone maker to leading brand, with the company taking chances in new markets (like Android and Windows Phone 7 for example) to get where it is.
But with the right kit at the right price, Huawei will be able to make steady inroads into the rapibly-expanding Android market. After all, Huawei is already the fifth biggest supplier of Android phones worldwide, so it does have a good starting point.