Over the course of the last year or two, we’ve had our eye on Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE, once relegated to being the OEMs behind phones that arrived with full carrier branding, hiding their true creators, and rising to become some more serious competition on the global scene. Huawei really grabbed itself some spotlight at the CES this year (though perhaps due to their being so little else to see), with stand-out phones like the Ascend Mate and its first Windows Phone offering, the Ascend W1. Today, we get to learn just how well the company’s been doing, as well as finally getting some pricing info for the W1.
Compared to 2011, Huawei reports revenue rising 33% in 2012, up to around $2.4B. Now, to be fair, Huawei’s interests are diversified beyond just smartphones, and it has a substantial business in telecom backbone equipment. Still, it says that smartphones contributed to the elevated figure, and that’s a trend we’ll likely see continue.
As for the W1, we’ve been expecting this phone to land with a seriously budget-conscious price tag, and it looks like Huawei’s going to deliver. The phone’s now been listed for what works out to just under $260, off-contract. That’s a good place to start, and should lead to popularity with both pre-pay monthly users and those looking for a free-on-contract Windows Phone handset.