Huawei Mate 9 Release Date: Will The Flagship Smartphone Impress Technophiles In The US?
Huawei announced its latest smartphone — the Mate 9 — in early November. The phablet will make its way to China and several European countries before Christmas but the phone will be available in the United States starting January 2017.
Huawei Smartphones Market Share
According to the International Data Corporation, Huawei was the third biggest smartphone vendor in the world only after Samsung and Apple, based on shipments in Q3 of 2016. Although Huawei smartphone shipment is quite high, majority of its business is in China. However, the Chinese company has maintained strong presence in Europe and is now targeting the U.S. market.
"Huawei continues to maintain a strong brand in Europe and is finding success with the P8 and P9 family, where it is taking away share from Samsung and Apple with competitive specs at lower price points with the Lite versions. Huawei may now have it sights set on the U.S., as we have the New York unveiling of its next Mate series flagship (Mate 9) in early November," says IDC.
Huawei Mate 9 Specs
The Huawei smartphone sports a massive 5.9-inch IPS LCD screen with a display resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. An octa-core Kirin 960 processor clocked at 2.4 GHz and 4 GB of RAM powers the phablet.
The Huawei Mate 9 brings Android 7.0 Nougat experience to customers. The mobile phone is equipped with a 12-megapixel (F2.2 lens) primary camera and 8-megapixel front-facing camera.
A massive 4,000 mAh battery, which also supports fast charging, fuels the Mate 9.
"Supporting 5A fast charging, SuperCharge technology enables a 50 percent improvement over the previous generation — 10 minutes of charge provides enough power to watch two full movies. Most importantly, the battery sets a new standard in charging technology including Super Safe 5-gate protection, which offers real-time voltage, current and temperature monitoring to eliminate safety hazards and safeguard battery life," said Huawei.
Problems That The Huawei Mate 9 May Face In The United States
Some reports highlight that a congressional report of 2012 recommends U.S. carriers to avoid Huawei devices due to the fear of China spying on American customers. Huawei has rejected such claims but all major carriers in the United States are not willing to sell Huawei products.
That's not the only thing that makes it hard for Huawei to sell its Mate 9 in the United States. To bring the flagship to Verizon and Sprint, which use CDMA networks, some important changes must be made to its mobile chips.
That leaves Huawei with the two GSM carriers in the United States: AT&T and T-Mobile. Unfortunately, Huawei is facing a patent dispute with T-Mobile, which means a partnership in the United States is highly unlikely.
AT&T could be the only company to offer the latest Mate 9 in the United States.
Competition In The United States
Huawei should be ready to face stiff competition from popular brands such as Apple and Samsung. The price of the Mate 9 in Europe starts at 699 euros ($740). Huawei has not announced the price of the Mate 9 in the United States, but it could cost $650.
It is worth noting that the base model of the iPhone 7 Plus is priced at $769, which is just about $120 higher than the estimated price of the Mate 9.
It remains to be seen if the Mate 9 helps Huawei to establish a brand name in the United States in the near term.