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International CES: Go West, Young Huawei

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Aside from set-top boxes and portable Wi-Fi routers, the company unveiled a smart hub called Memo.

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Ask anyone at Huawei's (SHE:002502) glitzy CES booth and they'll tell you 2014 is "the year" for the Chinese tech giant. Expanding outside of China hasn't been easy; Huawei has had to contend with suspicious lawmakers and a reputation for low-end products. The company hopes that a bevy of new devices, along with a growing corporate presence here in the United States, will translate into overseas success.

This week Huawei released its Ascend Mate 2, a 6-inch phablet in the style of Samsung's (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) Galaxy Note. Not my cup of tea, but Techcrunch liked it -- and for a change, it will be available in the United States. Huawei's handsets have generally lacked LTE, limiting their appeal in many markets. But with China now building out LTE networks, that seems likely to change. Will other smartphones make it to the US this year? One representative told me "probably" in reference to the flagship Ascend line, and another said Q3/Q4 more generally.




Huawei is pushing stateside in other ways. Aside from set-top boxes and portable Wi-Fi routers, the company unveiled a smart hub called Memo.



This device offers ultrafast 802.11ac wireless and a slew of ports in the back -- HDMI, Ethernet, SD card slot -- for moving content around your house. It seems that this, too, will be coming to the United States.

And tucked away in a back corner were the enterprise guys showing off some HD video-conferencing equipment. It wasn't the most exciting technology in the room, but it does hint at the company's ambitions. And as it happens, the reps were from sunny Cupertino, CA -- where Huawei's enterprise division recently celebrated its second anniversary.

See also:

Apple Is Losing a Huge Market

Live at CES: Qualcomm Gets Tired of Smartphones

What's New From Google and GM at the Consumer Electronics Show
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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