id2042321huaweiascentp6blackpink100042626large500
Handheld Devices

Superslim Huawei P6 smartphone looks great, but don't expect a U.S. launch

Huawei generated some buzz Tuesday with the announcement of the Ascend P6, which the company bills as the world's thinnest smartphone.

At 0.24 inches thick, the Huawei Ascend P6 sounds stunning, especially compared to the 0.3-inch frame on Apple's iPhone 5 and the 0.31-inch thickness of Samsung's Galaxy S4.

But if you live in the United States, good luck getting a chance to try the Ascend P6 yourself. The odds of this phone landing on U.S. shores are slimmer than the handset's aluminum chassis. (Huawei itself has not responded to a request for comment.)

No sales

Huawei has hardly any presence in the U.S. market right now. The company's Windows Phone 8-based W1 is only available through Walmart as part of a prepaid Straight Talk plan, and other phones like the Ascend Y and Premia 4G are only sold through smaller carriers, such as TracFone, MetroPCS and U.S. Cellular.

In recent years, Huawei has managed to get a few low-end smartphones and feature phones on major U.S. carriers, such as AT&T's Huawei Impulse and T-Mobile's Huawei Summit, but nothing that approaches the high end of the market.

Granted, Huawei says it wants to have more of a U.S. market presence, but the company's been saying that for a while now. So far, none of the major carriers are biting. It's highly unlikely that the Ascend P6 will be the one phone that helps Huawei break into the high-end U.S. smartphone market.

4G LTE override

How can one be so sure? Simple: The current version of the Ascend P6 does not support 4G LTE networks.

Now that AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all have their own 4G LTE networks, there's no way any of them would bring a new, non-LTE phone to market. So, while Engadget reports that Huawei is working on an LTE version of the Ascend P6, it won't be ready until the fourth quarter of this year. Even then, there's no guarantee U.S. carriers will sell the phone, or that an even slimmer handset will have already hit the market.

We've been through this before. In January 2012, Huawei announced the Ascend P1 S as the world's slimmest smartphone, but that phone also lacked LTE connectivity and never arrived stateside.

Certainly, Huawei deserves credit for pushing the boundaries of design and coming up with a phone that out-slims the rest of the high-end competition. Just don't hold out for a U.S. launch, or you could end up waiting forever.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Microsoft partners with Samsung, HP to help stop Windows piracy

NEXT ARTICLE

Comixology iOS app develops new reading superpowers »
author_image
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

  • Mail

Recommended for You

20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Training and certification for a cloud native world

Keri Allan looks at the latest trends and technologies

Unicorns are running free in the UK but Brexit poses a tough challenge

Trevor Clawson on the outlook for UK Tech startups

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?