Huawei launches premium P8 smartphones in challenge to Apple and Samsung

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 April, 2015, 12:35pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 April, 2015, 12:11pm

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, the third-largest in the world, on Wednesday announced two new smartphones to launch in over 30 countries, showcasing the firm's ambition to seize market share in the high-end smartphone sector.

Huawei announced the two new devices – the 5.2 inch Ascend P8 and the 6.8 inch P8max – at an event in London.

The products will be sold in more than 30 countries, including China, Columbia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The move follows on from the success of Huawei's Ascend P7, which has exceeded six million units in sales volume since it launch in May 2014, with 70 per cent sold in mainland China.

According to He Gang, Huawei's director of mobile product, the company expects 40 per cent of P8 sales to come from overseas.

The P8, while resembling an iPhone 5, is thinner than Apple devices, or competitor Samsung's Galaxy S6, at just 6.4 mm.

The 16GB P8 will retail for US$530, while a 64GB will cost US$640. The 32GB P8 Max costs US$580, with the 64GB version retailing for around US$700.

These prices will make the devices some of the most expensive domestic-brand smartphones on the Chinese market, competing directly with the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6.

In the past, Chinese smartphone makers have typically targeted lower-middle-class Chinese consumers and young people with cut-price devices.

"The goal of Huawei P8 is to become the most user-friendly smartphone for consumers globally," said Richard Yu, chief executive of the firm's consumer business group.

Yu said that Huawei sold more than 75 million phones last year, and predicted that the P8 would be a strong seller for the company in months to come.