Huawei Pulls a Nokia With “World’s Most Affordable” Smartphone: Ideos

Huawei, famous mainly for 3G computing peripherals, is trying its hand at smartphones, and it’s latest effort is pretty distinctive: It’s trying to bring the smartphone to entry-level markets.


Huawei, famous mainly for 3G computing peripherals, is trying its hand at smartphones–and it’s latest effort is pretty distinctive: It’s bringing the smartphone to entry-level markets.


Huawei doesn’t mess around in describing the phone. The Ideos is championed as “an affordable smartphone powered by the latest iteration of Android 2.2.” And one of the headline facts is its price: “Between $100 and $200, depending on the market.”

The smartphone is slowly but surely taking over the handheld world, and Huawei could be accused of attempting to pull a Nokia maneuver by aiming at the lowest common denominator. Ideos, however, is designed to “redefine” the entry-level smartphone concept by “combining high-quality hardware and software with a high price-to-performance ratio.”

Here’s how Huawei is going to do it. The phone is going to be available in a bunch of colors (black, yellow, blue, and purple) to appeal to the stereotypical youth market. It’s got the ability to act as a Mi-Fi-like Wi-Fi router for up to eight devices (versus the Mi-Fi’s five). We’re imagining a huddle of younger WoW players in a coffee shop here, making the most of someone’s Ideos’ 7.2Mbps download speeds. In the press info, Huawei highlights functions like voice dialing, voice navigation, and apps running off the SD-card as well as 70,000 applications on the Android Market–all features coming from adopting the Google operating system. And Huawei’s trick has certainly been to refine the design of the hardware to keep component costs lower, and including the free OS will have helped with this. The company hasn’t skimped though–even while the capacitive screen is just 2.8-inches, there’s a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS and 802.11 n wireless compatibility.

You know what? This kind of sounds like the Nexus One, reinvented.

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