Who are they?: Huawei, pronounced “Hwah Way“, are a Chinese Technology company, specialising in telecommunications equipment, semi-conductors and networking equipment. Their mobile phone division has been growing steadily over the past few years and their current flagship devices, including the P10 and P10 plus, are going toe-to-toe with huge names like Apple and Samsung.
So, whats their background?: Huawei was founded in 1987 by former PLA Deputy Director Ren Zhengfei in Shenzhen. They initially focused on parts for telephone exchanges, working largely domestically using methods such as reverse-engineering to gain the knowledge needed. By the time they expanded into the international market in 1997 they had already created one of China’s most powerful telephone switches, as well as creating a communications network for the People’s Liberation Army. Fast forward slightly, and by 2008 Huawei had started releasing mobile phones. Candybar models such as the T161L were followed by full QWERTY devices in 2009, and then touchscreen devices. 2011 saw the popular Ascend range launched, which continued until the Ascend branding was dropped with 2015’s release of the P8. The spirit of Ascend continues however, even until the present day with the Leica-camera wielding Ascend P10.
Who uses their products?: Huawei’s products are used in a lot more places than you would realise. Aside from their range of Android Smartphones, all stylised with their in-house EMUI over the top, they manufacture the YouView set-top-box used by TalkTalk, as well as routers for many ISPs. They also make USB broadband dongles for mobile phone providers, smart-watches, and have worked with Google on the Nexus device range.
My opinion: Huawei are a powerhouse in the Chinese domestic market, and employ over 100,000 people. Each device launched is another step in the right direction for them, combining quality features and innovation, blended to create a great user experience. The dual camera, co-engineered by German heavyweights Leica, on their recent flagships have been truly beautiful, and the in-house internals perform admirably. Definitely a dark horse on the market, and Huawei are only going to grow.