On the eve of the P9 event in London, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Huawei plans to launch a flagship phone in the US later this year. Entering the US market is a part of its broader plan to compete in the premium phone market and shed its image of making low-end devices.
The comment comes from consumer electronics head Richard Yu, but doesn’t include any other details. Huawei is in the midst of transforming itself to compete with Samsung and Apple in the high-end smartphone market. While it’s already the third-largest handset maker by shipments, the company is 10.9% away from second place Apple.
Huawei is spending massive amounts on research and development, as well as marketing. The WSJ article notes that the company might have a hard time entering the US market due to being effectively banned from selling networking hardware over spying fears. In the past, the company was successful in overcoming reluctance from European retailers and carriers to sell its devices.
On the R&D front, Huawei spent $9.2 billion last year. Tomorrow’s P9 will showcase a year-long partnership with Leica to create a camera that has “better color and sharper contrasts even in lowlight conditions.” Other specs are rumored to be a 1080p 5.2-inch display, Kirin 950 processor, 32GB of storage, and 3GB of RAM. Design-wise, it will share many similarities with the Nexus 6P including a metal body, similar camera visor, and rear fingerprint sensor.
9to5Google will be reporting live from the event tomorrow, so stay tuned for more coverage.