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article imageHuawei now third biggest smartphone brand, sold 100m in 2015

By James Walker     Dec 18, 2015 in Technology
Huawei has been enjoying a noticeable increase in demand for its smartphones this year. The extent of its growth is now clear as the company has moved up to third largest manufacturer in the world after selling 100 million handsets in the past 12 months.
Digital Trends reports Huawei revealed the figure as "more than 100 million" today. It now stands behind only Apple and Samsung, both of which also have sales over 100 million. Huawei's native Chinese rival, Xiaomi, is now trailing behind with 75 million sales — where Huawei was in 2014 — and is now ranked fourth in the global market.
Huawei's success has been driven largely by a complete refocusing of its brand in the past year. It has begun to build expensive flagship devices using premium components, ending the days of releasing waves of cheap smartphones to Asia and sending network-branded devices to European mobile operators.
The company still hasn't fully expanded its own presence into Europe and the U.S. but 2015 did mark a major step in the right direction. Huawei won a contract with Google to build its Android flagship device, the Nexus 6P, bringing its name to new markets on the back of a premium phone. It has also entered Europe under its brand name of Honor.
Xiaomi has also begun to move abroad. It launched an official online store in the U.S. and Europe back in June, giving buyers outside of Asia an easy way to acquire its products and accessories. The range on offer does not yet include any of its smartphones or tablets though. It's expected these will become available next year.
Huawei is also widely thought to be preparing its range of flagship devices for an American rollout in 2016. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the company is planning to debut its premium Mate 8 phablet in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, citing people "familiar" with Huawei's plans.
The phone's metal body houses a 6-inch Full HD display, 16-megapixel primary camera and a processor designed in-house by Huawei. Known as the Kirin 950, it sports four 2.3GHz cores and an additional four lower-power 1.8GHz cores to use when load is light. The Mate 8 is likely to cost around $600 in the U.S.
Huawei is also expected to launch a cheaper phone and at least one smartwatch during the event. Entering the U.S. with a strong product line-up could allow the company to grow even more throughout 2016, a year where Chinese manufacturers are expected to feature a lot more in American mobile news.
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