China's Huawei launches Ascent P2 smartphone, moves up in vendor rankings

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Huawei unveiled its new Ascent P2 smartphone at the Mobile World Congress, which is taking place in Barcelona, as part of its bid to become a leading smartphone manufacturer.

The P2 runs on an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system and sports a 4.7-inch high-definition display with a 315 pixel density. It also has an 1280x720p resolution, according to a report by CNET.

The P2 includes a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, 16GB internal storage and 1GB RAM. The smartphone is set to hit the market in the middle of the year for around €450, or about $600, the report noted.

At the press conference unveiling the P2, Amy Lou, director of global brand management at Huawei, said that her company is aiming to become a top global smartphone brand. Huawei is a brand that "we believe will be as familiar, appealing, as powerful as any name you will see this week in Barcelona," Lou was quoted by CNET as saying.

Huawei's efforts appear to be paying off, as the Chinese smartphone manufacturer climbed to third place in the global smartphone market, behind Samsung and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), according to both Gartner and Strategy Analytics.

Huawei continues to do well in the Chinese smartphone market, along with fellow Chinese manufacturers ZTE and Lenovo, while Taiwan's HTC has seen its shipments to the mainland shrink, resulting in a 29 percent year-over-year decline in worldwide shipments for the fourth quarter. At the same time, Samsung and Apple have been doing well in China's higher-tier smartphone market, according to Strategy Analytics.

While Huawei is having success in China and Europe, its future in the United States market is uncertain due to charges by Congress that it and ZTE allow the Chinese government to install backdoors on telecom equipment sold in the U.S. market, a charge that the companies and the government vehemently deny.

Some U.S. House members have threatened to bar Huawei from the U.S. market, a move that would severely impact its drive to become a leading equipment and smartphone vendor.

For more:
- see the CNET articles on the P2 launch and Lou remarks
- check out Strategy Analytics stats

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