We’re all for “dogfooding,” but if you’re going to make a bold claim like this one, then you had better have the specs, market results and user opinion backing you up. Still, it has not stopped Huawei consumer electronics CEO Richard Yu from making this statement at an interview CES in Las Vegas. The company has introduced its 6.1-inch Ascend Mate at the annual electronics trade show, where it has disclosed plans to convince U.S. carriers to offer high-end devices to consumers.
Huawei has been known for its low-end devices, and may be known more to enterprise and industry customers as a provider of telecoms equipment. Yu wants to change this image, though, and Huawei’s latest top-of-line offerings are meant to convince buyers of the brand’s quality. The Ascend Mate, for instance, with its behemoth screen, is meant to challenge dominant phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 at their own game. Huawei has also introduced its Ascend D2, which is likewise a phablet, but with a smaller 5-inch form factor, quad-core processor and overall great hardware.
Even as it can attract fans for sheer specs (and size), Huawei will need to attract American carriers if it wants to get on the right track to consumers’ hands and pockets. It seems there have been roadblocks along the way, though, such as a Congressional inquiry alleging that Huawei is installing backdoors into equipment meant for the Chinese government to spy on sensitive information, along with compatriot ZTE.
Yu told The Verge that the carriers actually “like the product,” but the company will “need some time to get trust” from its target market. Huawei is even willing to sacrifice profit margins if only to encourage more sales through reduced prices. Comparing the company with its major competitors, the CEO slammed both Apple and Samsung for their seeming lack of innovation in their product lines today.
“Steve Jobs is gone,” he said of Apple. “Now there is lack of innovation.”
Yu has also criticized Samsung for cutting corners even on its supposedly high-end devices. In particular, they have scrimped on materials even in flagship devices like the Galaxy S3, points out Yu. “Their plastic is very cheap.”
“The best smartphone is from Huawei. Not from our competitors,” says Yu. Would you agree?