ITNewsAfrica.com: What is the latest addition to the Huawei device range?
Leo Wang: We launched our own brand IDEOS in the African market, with the latest addition an entry-level touch screen smartphone with Google’s Android 2.2 OS and 3G connectivity. We had previously launched IDEOS in rural markets in Germany in September this year and in UK, USA, China, with Africa and India being now the next targets. Worldwide, since September we have promoted IDEOS in 30 countries, with over one million units already sold through local operators.
ITNewsAfrica.com: What are your expectations of IDEOS in the African market for next year?
Leo Wang: This is the first entry-level 3G smartphone in Africa that offers a true smartphone experience thanks to the Google Android’s interactivity. We expect 5-7 percent of the African market to benefit directly from this, but now quantity is not as important to us as establishing the IDEOS brand. We have continuously launched smartphones and tablet devices under IDEOS brand and we have offerings for every segment of the market, be it entry-level or middle and high income. As an example, for high-end markets we have included touchscreen devices with QWERTY, multi-point touch controls and HD video output. Most of our smartphones have Android OS, through our partnership with Google.
ITNewsAfrica.com: How do you justify Android OS as your first choice for IDEOS?
Leo Wang: We are among the top three Google partners in the device market. Our close partnership is not exclusive, but offers access to the Android OS, which is an open platform with a rapidly growing application market, something we found attractive. Also, Google branding takes IDEOS to a completely new level and ensures the device’s quality and operability is of high standards.
ITNewsAfrica.com: Will Huawei develop LTE devices in the near future? And if so, when will they get to Africa?
Leo Wang: We will launch LTE devices in the next quarter for the international markets. We have already been testing LTE and WiMAX technologies globally. In Africa, discussing and testing with main operators such as MTN and Vodacom will be a starting point.
By Denisa Oosthuizen