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Huawei Ascend G520: The $225 quad core smartphone that'll never land in America

Huawei has just announced a product called the G520. It's important because it costs just $225, yet it comes with a quad core processor and a 4.5" screen. Sadly, it'll never leave China.
January 15, 2013

Huawei, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer that’s known for their budget Android devices in quite a few number of countries, has just launched a phone called the G520. We actually think it’ll be called the Ascend G520, but that’s not really important. What’s important here is the price tag: 1,399 Chinese yuan, which translates to roughly $225. For that amount of cash you get a quad core Mediatek processor, 4.5 inch screen of an unknown resolution, and a 5 megapixel camera. It’s going to launch later this month, the 21st, on China Mobile.

Will this thing ever land in the United States or Europe? We don’t even have to email Huawei to get an answer, because we know it’s no. Pretty much anything with a Mediatek chipset inside never leaves China, Russia, India, and a handful of other places. Why? We think it’s got something to do with intellectual property rights, better known as patent bickering.

Why are we even covering the G520 then? Because it’s a sign of things to come. If you’re a European, you should acknowledge the fact that you’re no longer living on the continent with the most advanced wireless networks on the face of the planet. That honor, thanks to 4G LTE, is now held by the Americans. On the same token, if you’re an American, you need to realize that you’re pretty soon not going to be considered a member of the world’s largest economy. China, with their 1.3 billion people, will take that title quite soon. And what kind of phones are the Chinese buying? Devices like the G520. We’d go so far as to call the G520 expensive since a majority of Chinese phones sold cost sub 1,000 RMB, which is about $160.

It’s weird for us to say this, but most of the interesting things that will happen in the smartphone space going forward will be in the midrange product tiers. It’s easy to make a decent 600 EUR device. It’s a lot harder to make a decent 120 EUR smartphone.