Huawei To Launch Own-Brand UK Handsets Next Month

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Huawei is set to launch the Android Blaze in order to establish itself as a handset brand ‘from scratch’

The UK may be getting Huawei’s first own-brand mobile phone as early as September, the company has said.

Huawei, based in Shenzhen, China, is targeting 4 to 5 percent market share in the UK within 12 months with the Android-based Blaze handset, Huawei told Bloomberg.

UK deals

The company signed its first contract with a UK network operator in May – with Everything Everywhere – and now wants to establish its mobile phone brand in Britain “almost from scratch”, Huawei UK executive vice president Mark Mitchinson told the news service. The UK will be the focus of Huawei’s biggest push within Western Europe, he said.

Blaze is likely to compete with lower-end smartphones selling for around the £100 mark. The handset will be the first Android device that Huawei has launched under its own brand.

The company is also planning to sell the MediaPad tablet and the Vision handset in the UK, and is looking to sell the phones through operators including Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere.

Huawei’s sales outside of China grew three times faster than within its home market last year and accounted for 65 percent of sales.

The announcement follows that of Huawei rival ZTE in July that it, too, would begin selling own-brand handsets in the UK.

John Suffolk joins the team

Earlier this month Huawei announced it had hired the former chief information officer (CIO) for the British government, John Suffolk, as its cyber-security boss.

Suffolk revealed last November that he was stepping down from his CIO post at the end of 2010. His decision to leave was viewed as somewhat curious at the time, as he left his post before the Government’s major projects were launched, such as the flagship G-Cloud project.

Suffolk was regarded as a key figure in arguing that the government could significantly cut its IT costs by reducing the number of data centres it uses, as well as making more use of Cloud computing.

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