Rant: Huawei Vision and MediaPad – two products that could help the Chinese company get a decent slice of the Android pie

We’ve been talking about the Huawei Vision for few times in the past. If you recall, it’s a high-end device similar to the Nexus One, specs wise. It doesn’t have a dual-core processor — which would make it the superphone by today’s standards — but a single-core CPU, clocking at 1GHz. Rest of the Vision specs includes a 3.7-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera, HSPA and Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS along with an array of sensors that come as standard with modern smartphones. In a nutshell, we’re talking about a device that could easily sell like hot cupcakes if Huawei price it “correctly” — meaning it makes it affordable.

When you think about it, the Chinese company is following steps HTC made in the last couple of years that effectively turned the Taiwanese handset maker from white-label manufacturer of carrier-branded products into one of the best-known smartphone brands. The question is whether Huawei has what it takes to became the brand/company as nearly as recognizable as HTC. Personally I think with products such as the mentioned Vision smartphone and that awesome MediaPad tablet, they may be onto something.

There is also one significant difference between the two companies; while HTC developed its own UI software (Sense UI), Huawei decided to skip that step and license it from SPB Software, which SPB Shell 3D rocks, taking advantage of the phone’s graphic capabilities to show an easy to use 3D carousel.

Now is all that enough to get the hearts and minds of mainstream users? It’s definitely a good start and I wouldn’t mind testing the MediaPad myself. Heck I’m sure I would find the Vision appealing as well. On the other hand, what I think is not that relevant — what’s relevant is whether Huawei can find the common ground with the world’s biggest mobile operators. They managed to convince them to carry their low-end handsets and we’re eager to see that repeating with higher-end products.

One thing is certain – as a new entrant to the market dominated by well-established brands, the Chinese company must have reasonably priced (i.e. affordable) products that over-deliver on many fronts. I think they may be onto something, what do you say?

  • Kevin Hannigan

    What you think IS relevant because for weeks (really since June) there hasn’t been hardly a mension of the Mediapad online. Certainly the brand name has been subtly revealed to the public by its mobile devices usually branded with the logo of mobile network providers. I am really interested in the Mediapad as it will add a benchmark stamp to the 7 inch format which unlike dear Steve Jobs I think is the more managable size for a tablet on the move. So I keep waiting and hoping it will not just be a managable size, but also a managable price.

    • e8hffff call

      6 hour battery life is a kick in the teeth though.  Simply not long enough for a busy day’s use.

  • I think one of the largest hurdles that Huawei is going to have to overcome if it wants to be a real player is its name, and I’m not talking about the fact that people will associate a Chinese name with cheap, poorly made goods.  I’m talking about the fact that people who do not speak Mandarin seem to be totally in the dark on how to pronounce Huawei. In terms of quality and value, I use a Huawei IDEOS phone which cost me around $100 and in terms of value I think its perhaps the best value dollar for dollar that you can find in a phone.  The build quality and software are great, which is the one thing (well one of the things) that keep most Chinese Android devices from ever really standing a chance of becoming mass market.  I plan on buying a Mediapad when it comes out, although like Kevin said, they really haven’t said anything about it in months.  I’m very curious to about the price.  If I could by one for around 2000 RMB I’m sold.

    • e8hffff call

      Yeah I use a $99 Huawei 8150U firmwared to 2.3.5 Android gingerman.  It runs fantastic for what it is.  Personally I would buy a MediaPad trusting the quality based on the existing phone I have, but it’s about price.

      People simply wont buy these MediaPad unless they get the price down.  The Tablet market is about to crash anyway regarding lack of cash able customers.

      Consider Andriod is a free OS, unlike Window based notebooks.  The price can come down when compared to the same work that goes into a notebook vs a tablet.  The components aren’t that expensive to make these tablets, other than the initial factory runs.

  • e8hffff call

    The MediaPad is way too expensive at 399euros.  With competition and the economy they will have little buyers.  Especially since it’s only a 7inch device, and has only a small 6 hour battery life.

    If they can release $99 smart phones with all the sensors then it shouldn’t take that much $ to scale up to a bigger screen and cpu and a few other slots.

    Post, HP TouchPad firesale, people are not willing to part with more than $400 for a tablet, unless it sports the mojo of a company like Apple, which sells an image people desire.  No other can offer an suit like Apple without years of reputation building.

    Seriously if they can’t get the price down as far as 250 euros then it’s going to be a store shelf lead weight.  I recommend they try their best for $300USD release price or 220£ or it’s game over.

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