Apple is about to face its biggest challenge from its most ambitious and formidable Chinese competitor, says CNBC. Huawei launched its high-end phone in the United States on Thursday. According to Richard Yu, director of Huawei’s consumer business group, the Huawei Mate 9 will be available in the United States through Amazon and Best Buy on Friday for $599.99.
Can the Huawei Mate 9 challenge the iPhone?
By volume, the Chinese company is the number three smartphone maker in the world, and it is hoping to become the number two within one or two years, said Yu. Getting to the number two spot means knocking down either Apple or Samsung.
According to IDC, the Chinese company shipped about 33.6 million smartphones around the world in the third calendar quarter, while Apple shipped 45.5 million and Samsung shipped more than 72.5 million. The Chinese company will now infiltrate Apple’s biggest market, the U.S., notes CNBC.
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Yu said at at CES in Las Vegas, “We never hide our ambition. We have a vision to make the world’s best smartphone.”
Yu took a jab at Apple many times during his speech. He even noted that the more affordable Mate 9 is thinner than the iPhone 7, charges faster and has a longer battery life. In addition, Yu said Huawei made the first phone to sport a dual-lens camera like the iPhone 7 Plus.
The Mate 9 promotional video said, “Genius’ is no longer in the domain of a chosen few.”
The ad also showed a picture of a light bulb, another indirect hit at Apple, which is popular for its Genius Bar and has introduced an ad recently featuring bursting light bulbs, notes CNBC.
Huawie’s Mate 9 has received assistance from other Apple rivals as well, with the integration of Alexa, Amazon’s artificial intelligent assistant, and DayDream, Google’s virtual reality platform, notes CNBC.
Apple planning first retail store in South Korea
Apple also continues its land grab efforts in the smartphone market. The iPhone maker said recently that it is planning to open a retail store in South Korea. The store will be the first in the country that is home to its smartphone rival Samsung. On Thursday, the U.S. firm posted job listings for about 15 positions, including a business manager and store manager. The listings, however, neither specified the exact location nor said when those who are hired will start working, says Reuters.
In a statement on Friday, the tech giant told Reuters, “We’re excited about opening our first Apple Store in Korea, one of the world’s economic centers and a leader in telecommunication and technology, with a vibrant K-culture.”