Huawei launches high end Ascend P1 phone in Kenya Dennis Mbuvi

September 28, 2012
Huawei Ascend P1

Huawei on Thursday evening launched the Huawei Ascend P1 in Kenya. The launch was held at the National Museum and attended by Wind Li - Huawei Kenya CEO, Rerolle Thibaud - Safaricom CIO and CTO and Francis wangusi - Communications Commission of Kenya Director General. The Ascend P1 range defines Huawei premium handsets.

Retailing at Ksh 42,999 ,  the device is quite slim at 7.69 millimetres in thickness and has a large brilliant (Super AMOLED) 4.3 inch screen. The phone also sports a dual core 1.5 Gigahertz Texas Instruments processor which sees the phone been quite fast and responsive.
It weighs 110 grams, with an 8 Megapixel autofocus camera, with dual LED flash. Other features are a front facing camera rated at 1.3 megapixels. Media from the phone can be shared wirelessly to devices that support the Digital Living Networking Alliance (DLNA)  and supports Dolby Surround for sound.

In a bid to make the device light, the phone’s battery is not removable, however packs enough charge at 1670 milliampere hours.  Various online reviews rate the battery life to be quite high at 12 hours for talk time, but this drops considerable to 3 hours of web browsing and 7 hours of video playback. A number of devices clock 10 hours for talk time, 7 for browsing and 10 hours for video playback.

The Ascend P1 runs Android version 4.0.3 Icecream, a version behind Jellybean, Google’s latest Android release. No word on when and if the phone will get Android 4.1.

Huawei expects to sell 1,000 units this month. Based on the reception, Huawei is also expected to launch a quad core version of the same device in the coming month, which will retails at about Ksh. 50,000.

Below are Wind Li’s remarks at the phone’s launch.

Huawei Consumer devices are important to our business because it’s the one that connects Huawei to the end user market. Most of you here tonight can confirm they’ve known our company through the series of devices tailored for the Kenyan Market through partnerships with operators such as Safaricom. These include our modems, smartphones such as IDEOS, Ascend Y100, Huawei Honor, IDEOS X5, and tablets such as S7 Slim, Huawei Media Pad.

As a leading global ICT solutions provider with local presence for the last 14 years, Huawei is Serving 45 of the world's top 50 operators, and a third of the world’s population. This gives us the challenge to continue exceeding our customer’s expectations through customer centric innovations, and tonight it’s with great pleasure we bring to you Huawei Ascend P1!
With the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, Auto rotate feature powered by G-sensor, the Ascend P1 has been equipped with outstanding features to suit the diverse tastes of the discerning smartphone users. It features a dual core 1.5GHz CPU together with optimal software makes it the fastest model in class with the capability to multitask effectively. The super thin smartphone of 7.69mm is optimized with Dolby Mobile 3.0+ combined with the Dolby Digital plus Decoder offers a superb listening experience making it possible for users to enjoy theater-like sound just through earphones.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A new report released by Ovum telecoms analyst 2 days ago indicates that, Smartphones shipped globally will hit 1.7 billion in 2017, with emerging markets seeing particularly strong growth. According to the report, 450 million smartphones were sold in 2011, of which around 160 million were sold in emerging markets with China alone accounting for around 66% of smartphones sold in emerging markets.  It indicates that China is at the center of smartphone development and adoption in emerging markets, with the whole ecosystem increasingly geared toward the production of ever-more feature-rich affordable devices.

On our part Globally, Huawei expects revenue from its consumer devices unit to grow by about 30 percent next year from the USD 9 billion forecast for this year. We also plan to launch smartphones using Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system later this year or early next year. In 2013, our consumer device division's revenues globally  are expected to increase by 30 percent, led by "at least" 40 percent growth in smartphones, forecasting  shipments of more than 100 million mobile phones this year, including 60 million smartphones. It’s our hope that in future as our device business grows we can develop our own smartphone operating system.

Closer home, CCK’s third quarter statistics   report for 2011/2012 financial year indicates that In the Internet/data market segment, subscriptions increased by 5.5 per cent, from 6.1 million recorded in the previous period to 6.4 million during the quarter under review. Mobile data/internet subscriptions continued to dominate the internet market with 98.8 per cent of the total Internet/data subscriptions being from the mobile Internet/data sub-market. This is a clear indication of the opportunity and continued demand in Kenya’s smartphone market to enhance connectivity through mobile.

As conclude, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tonight’s launch comes very timely as the Communications Commission of Kenya’s deadline to shut down counterfeit handsets is in three days time. Kenya is the second country in Africa after South Africa to enjoy the beauty and brains that come along with the Ascend P1 retailing at Kenya Shillings 42,999.

It’s my hope that the unveil of Ascend P1  as part of  the ongoing wave of quality, affordable smartphones will have a major impact on consumer choice in emerging markets such as Kenya.


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