Huawei launches Pura 70 smartphones in challenge to Apple in China


Huawei’s official website in China listed details of the Huawei Pura 70 series.

Huawei

Huawei launched a fresh line-up of smartphones on Thursday in a bid to continue its resurgence in China and ramp up its challenge to Apple in the market.

The Chinese technology giant took the wraps of the Pura 70 series, which replaces the “P series” of devices that the company first launched in 2012.

It’s the latest sign of growing confidence from Huawei, after the company last year quietly launched its Mate 60 smartphone, which sported a high-end chip. This raised concerns in Washington, because the U.S. had slapped sanctions over the past few years which were designed to stop Huawei from accessing such technology.

These sanctions, which began in 2019, almost wiped out Huawei’s smartphone business.

Now Huawei is trying to stage a comeback. The company’s smartphone shipments in China rose 64% year over year in the first six weeks of 2024, according to Counterpoint Research, while Apple iPhone sales dropped 24% across the period.

Huawei’s latest phones are its latest challenge to Apple, which is the dominant foreign smartphone brand in China.

The Pura 70 series as four devices — the Pura 70, Pura 70 Pro, the Pura 70 Pro Plus and the Pura 70 Ultra — according to Huawei’s official website.

Here are the starting prices in China for each:

  • Pura 70: 5,499 yuan
  • Pura 70 Pro: 6,499 yuan
  • Pura 70 Pro Plus: 7,999 yuan
  • Pura 70 Ultra: 9,999 yuan

Apple’s iPhone 15 in China starts at 5,999 yuan, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at 9,999. So Huawei is challenging Apple directly in the same price categories.

Huawei has packed the devices with premium smartphone features. The back of the phone has a textured covering, while the Ultra version of the gear has a 6.8-inch screen. All of the new phone offerings are equipped with cameras that are a triple-lens setup, with features including long-range zoom and the ability to capture images of objects moving at speed.

The Pura 70 series also runs HarmonyOS 4.2, Huawei’s proprietary operating system which it first released in 2019 after U.S. sanctions cut it off from Google’s Android.

Huawei has not revealed the central processing chip inside the device, after eyebrows were raised at its semiconductor breakthrough last year. Several bloggers on Chinese social media suggest the phone is using a Huawei-designed Kirin 9010 processor, which CNBC could not independently verify.

This would be an upgrade from the Kirin 9000s, which was reportedly used in the Mate 60 last year.

Huawei was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.



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