Huawei launches first Windows Phone 8 smartphone in U.S.

Summary:While Huawei may be de facto barred from selling U.S. telecoms and technology firms its networking gear, the Chinese company is ramping up its efforts to bring its smartphones to the lucrative market.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 09.47.51
Image: Huawei

Huawei is launching its first Windows Phone 8-powered smartphone to the U.S. market.

The Chinese phone maker said the W1 features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 512MB RAM, a 4-inch IPS LCD screen with Gorilla Glass, a 5-megapixel rear camera with flash, and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. It also features a microSD port that can hold up to 32GB of storage.

Powered by Windows Phone 8, Huawei is one of the very few smartphone makers offering the latest smartphone software. Nokia, HTC, and Samsung have also developed devices running the platform.

Huawei is touting the device's battery life as its killer feature. The smartphone featuring a 1950mAh battery that lasts for 7.5 hours talk-time and up to 13 days on standby. 

Huawei hopes that its U.S. launch will help boost its overall sales, as the firm has only 4.6 percent market share worldwide  according to IDC figures. Gartner currently pegs the smartphone maker in third place during Q4 2012 . Already popular in its Chinese homeland, the next major market for it to crack is the United States. Huawei continues to decrease its dependence on its feature phone segment by bolstering its smartphone portfolio.

Available at Walmart.com and select Walmart stores in the U.S., the Huawei W1 will first go on sale later in May.

The launch coincides with a sponsorship deal with a Jonas Brothers' promotion, which in light of espionage allegations by the U.S. government and a de facto ban on U.S. firms using Huawei technology, it's arguably almost as bad.

Give me espionage over the Jonas Brothers' any day. 

Topics: Huawei, China, Smartphones, Windows Phone

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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