Huawei is expanding the mobile, and tablet, side of its business, targeting consumers and enterprises. Since last summer, we've seen the launch of new, own-brand handsets in the UK and other markets.
For example, there's the new Huawei Ascend G300 which we reviewed yesterday. The company has announced its intention to flog 100 million mobiles this year, doubling up on the 55 million it managed throughout 2011 (20 million of those being smartphones, which it expects to treble, up to 60 million this year).
Huawei has bigger plans for the future still, and those include a touch-free mobile. In other words, a phone that can be operated with Kinect style gestures via its cameras, rather than the traditional touchscreen.
John Roese, general manager for Huawei's North American research and development centre, commented: "What if you use the camera of a tablet or a smartphone and use it to capture the visualization of your hands. So imagine instead of touching a smartphone, you can actually have a three-dimensional interaction with it."
Huawei is planning on powering its touch-free smartphones with a chunky graphics processor, and twin front-facing cameras to properly capture motion gestures. Roese says the company is likely to start with tablets first, and gradually build up the technology.
Huawei had a not inconsiderable research and development budget of $3.8 billion last year, which is expected to grow 20 per cent, to around $4.5 billion in 2012.
Some of that research spending will also go into the cloud, where Huawei hopes to forge ahead with new storage techniques. The firm has partnered with CERN to develop this side of the business, using its cloud storage system, to store over 15,000TB of physics data.
These techniques could revolutionise cloud storage, according to Roese. He said: "If we are successful, which I think we will be, it literally could change the economics of storage by an order of a magnitude. Suppliers could give infinite backup and only charge people when they needed to restore it, while still making money."
He added: "Of all the projects, and there are lots of good projects, that is the one that could have a profound impact on the market."