RIM and Huawei Launch New Smartphone Models

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The market for smartphones is getting more and more momentum this year with Huawei and RIM launching a bunch of?new model smartphones. Even more interesting is the fact that the two manufacturers have adopted their own unique approaches to benefit the consumer.

For the Canadian giant ?RIM? the end goal is to remain ahead of the competition and safeguard its lion?s share of the market, which is currently under threat by the iPhone. Whereas Huawei?s being the underdog is aiming to bring the company?s image to the forefront of the market as a producer of smartphones.

RIM’s five vs Huawei’s 3D

RIM?s?five new BlackBerrys include two touchscreen-only devices, the slider-style Torch 9810 and two ultra-thin models with RIM?s trademark mini qwerty keyboards. All come with 1.2Ghz processors and BlackBerry OS7, the company?s latest operating system.

They will be available globally over the next few months and while analysts, such as Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets view them as ?evolutionary, not revolutionary products,? most agree they should help RIM halt the slide in its US market share and consolidate its position elsewhere.

In contrast, Huawei?s Google Android-powered Vision smartphone, available next month, features a flashy new 3D-esque user interface developed by Huawei. Analysts noted that its high-end specifications, Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and supported by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, show the Chinese company is serious about becoming a top-three smartphone vendor by 2015. Available in ?selected markets? from September, Huawei aims to ship a million units this year.

This new smartphone can actually be Huawei?s big break to tap into the fiercely competitive marketplace.

Both companies share a common rival:?Apple?is widely expected to launch the iPhone 5 next month, despite reports this week that it had been pushed back to October.

Huawei ? attempting to break into the smartphone big league currently dominated by the likes of Apple, RIM, Samsung and Nokia ? reported sales of US$4.2 billion in the Jan-June period, with global shipments of mobile phones, tablets and wireless datacards increasing by nearly 40 percent to 72 million units. ?We are striving to become one of the top three global brands for mobile phones by 2015,? said Huawei Device CEO Wan Biao. The unit contributed about 17 percent to total company revenue. Last month the company said it aims to ship 20 million smartphones this year, higher than a previous target of 12-15 million units, and also entered the tablet space with launch of its MediaPad.

MENA effect

Huawei has a strong presence in the MENA region, mentioning in their annual report that ‘application and software products continued their robust expansion in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, indicating the success of our revenue sharing business model with operators.’

They provide services with many local operators in this region, including Cell C, Etisalat, Royal KPN, Megafon, Saudi Telecom and Vodafone.

Talking about popularity, and as far as the UAE is concerned, it seems the Blackberry has taken over the Apple product, according to leading retailers, selling both the products.

?But now, according to market trends and [our] sales results, the Blackberry has caught up and has taken over in popularity figures. The Blackberry is a steal if you compare prices,” said Kaushik Dange, Category Head – Mobiles & Telecom, Emax Stores.

However, looking at the big picture, the smartphone battle is currently heavy on Android’s side.

According to Nielsen, Android?s share is strong at 39 percent, with Apple?s iOS at 28 percent and?BlackBerry?maker RIM falling fast at 20 percent. ComScore?s numbers are similar (40 percent for Android, 26 percent for iOS, and 23 percent for RIM).

Google can count on its OS being featured on devices from?Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, ZTE and Huawei.

All we would do now is wait and watch, as to who leads between RIM and Huawei., both bringing uniqueness on the table.

Sources: FT, newsden, mobilebusinessbriefing, huawei, emirates 24|7, ibtimes

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