Huawei unveils new phone lineup to ramp up the pressure on Apple

Huawei's latest Pura 70 series phone is displayed at a store in Shanghai on April 18, 2024. — AFP

Huawei Technologies Co released its latest series of smartphones on April 18, sustaining its momentum after the breakthrough Mate 60 device helped erode Apple Inc’s dominance in China’s high-end segment.

The Pura 70 smartphone series starts at 5,499 yuan (RM3,633) and scales all the way to 9,999 yuan (RM6,607) for an Ultra edition, which matches the price tag on some iPhone 15 models The device, unfurled with little marketing via a post on WeChat, shot to the top of social media trending lists shortly after its introduction. The Ultra model sports a retractable camera with an adjustable aperture – a rarity in consumer phones.

The Pura emphasises the resurgence of Huawei, which in 2023 released a Mate 60 series of devices that sported a processor many thought beyond the capabilities of Chinese chipmakers. Huawei hasn’t specified the new phone’s processor but several online reviewers posted videos Thursday that showed higher-tier models featured a Kirin 9010 chip. That’s a follow-up to the made-in-China Kirin 9000s inside the Mate 60 Pro, celebrated in China last year as evidence the country could overcome US sanctions.

Since its introduction in August, the Mate 60 has contributed to a major decline in iPhone sales in China and helped Huawei outpace its domestic rivals.

Formerly known as the P series, the Pura line has traditionally sold on the strength of their camera capabilities. Giving domestic users a fresh option could apply further pressure on the iPhone, which isn’t due for an upgrade until September. For Huawei, it’s another step toward rebuilding the consumer business that was once an engine of revenue growth. – Bloomberg

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