Huawei Unveils P40 Smartphones Online During Coronavirus Launch

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LONDON (Reuters) – Chinese company Huawei Technologies on Wednesday unveiled its new flagship photography-focused P40 smartphones in an online presentation after the coronavirus canceled the planned event.

FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer technology fair in Berlin, Germany, on September 6, 2019. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke / File Photo

Richard Yu, general manager of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, showed three smartphones in an online broadcast: the P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro +, which have triple, quadruple and penta-camera configurations and “overflow” displays Which bend around the four edges of the devices.

Huawei has been at the forefront of camera technology and Yu said the P40 series has raised the bar once again, with the largest camera sensor on a smartphone, up to 10x optical zoom and advanced artificial intelligence.

The company’s hardware has received critical acclaim.

However, the appetite of European consumers for its new smartphones has been undermined by closings imposed in many countries to combat the spread of the coronavirus, and by the lack of Google mobile services on new Huawei devices as a result. of a ban imposed by the United States last year.

The United States alleges that Huawei is involved in activities that jeopardize its national security, an accusation that the company denies.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted sales forecasts for smartphones, with stores closed across Europe and the global economy facing a severe recession.

Yu, however, was positive on both fronts.

“I hope the P40 series can still sell very, very well in the world,” he told reporters via video link.

He said the coronavirus was under control in China and that Huawei’s manufacturing was under way.

“The situation is good; more and more people are returning to work and the mall, “he said. “Every government can learn from China, so I hope the coronavirus is under control very quickly.

“I’m looking forward to it, so I’m always positive. ”

He also said that more developers are contributing to Huawei’s own ecosystem. “Most of the most popular applications will be integrated into the HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) kernel and will appear in the AppGallery,” he said. “It is improving very, very quickly.”

Huawei still wanted to continue partnering with Google, he said, but added, “There is no other choice, we have to do it. ”

Forrester analyst Thomas Husson said the P40 smartphones combine the best performance of hardware technology with advanced AI photography software.

But while the company is stepping up its efforts to work with publishers, app developers and brands, it was far from enough to convince consumers in Europe that AppGallery was replacing the Google Play Store.

And he said that product differentiation didn’t matter, the challenge for the coming months would be to adapt to the economic crisis.

“If the Chinese economy begins to slowly return to normal, it goes without saying that high-end smartphones will not sell well in Q2 and Q3 in most countries,” he said.

The P40 and P40 Pro will be available from April 7 in Europe at the price of 799 euros and 999 euros respectively, while the P40 Pro + will follow a few months later at the price of 1399 euros.

Report by Paul Sandle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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