Huawei's Honor Brand Smartphones Reportedly Coming to U.S.

Huawei, which is still growing its footprint in the United States, it is apparently planning to bring its Honor phones to U.S. shores.

Huawei, Huawei P8 Lite smartphone, Honor smartphones, smartphones, Samsung, Apple, iPhones

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is getting ready to announce that it will be bringing budget-priced handsets from its Honor smartphone division to sell in the United States sometime in 2016.

The move will be unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January at an event the company is sponsoring at the show, according to a Dec. 13 story by 9to5Google.

The news was revealed by George Zhao, president of Honor Global, at a press event held to commemorate the company's second anniversary in China, the story reported. "The United States market is the highest-end market for Huawei, so we have been planning for a very long time," Zhao said at the event. "The International CES is planned for January, as you know, so you should expect to hear more about our United States plan at that time."

The first smartphone likely to arrive in America is the Honor 5X, though the company recently unveiled its latest model, the Honor 7 Enhanced Edition, earlier in December.

The Honor 5X has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, 2GB or 3GB of memory, 16GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, according to the report.

Last June, Huawei revealed its goal to increase its presence in the United States. The president of the company told U.S. journalists at a New York press event that the company plans to be a top-three player in the market within the next five years. The event was a gala for the company's then-new $249 unlocked P8 Lite smartphone for U.S. consumers.

The P8 Lite—with a bright 5-inch HD display, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor; 2GB of RAM; 16GB of built-in storage (expandable to 32GB with a microSD card); a 13MP auto-focus rear camera; a 5MP fixed-focus front camera; a non-removable 2,200mAh lithium-ion battery; and 4G, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity—is a lot of phone for less than half the price of an iPhone 6. The P8 Lite's display is covered with tough Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for durability and scratch resistance, while the handset runs on Android 4.4 KitKat.

In July, research from Strategy Analytics showed Huawei eclipsing Microsoft's Lumia division to take over the number-three spot globally in mobile phone shipments, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Huawei shipped 30.6 million phones and captured 7 percent of the global market in the second quarter, a record for the company, while Microsoft's Lumia division shipped 27.8 million phones during the quarter, down from 50.3 million in the same quarter a year ago, according to the data. Microsoft's market share in the quarter fell to 6.4 percent from 11.8 percent for the same period a year prior. That was near an all-time low for Microsoft, according to Strategy Analytics.

Perennial global mobile phone market leader Samsung was in the number-one spot in the rankings with 89 million phones shipped and 20.5 percent of the market share for the second quarter, while Apple remained in the second spot, with 47.5 million phones shipped and a 10.9 percent market share in that quarter.

In September, Huawei began shipping its Huawei Watch, the company's first-ever smartwatch, in seven styles, ranging from a $349 stainless steel watch with a leather band to a $799 version made from rose-gold-plated stainless steel with a rose-gold-plated link band.

The Huawei Watch, powered by Android Wear 1.3, features a 1.65-inch classic round watch face and a 1.4-inch touch-sensitive AMOLED display that's covered with a scratch-proof sapphire crystal lens. The Huawei Watch features a Qualcomm 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of on-board storage and Bluetooth 4.1. The watch connects to smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher or iOS 8.2 and later and allows users to receive call notifications, texts, email, calendar notifications and more.