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Huawei's High Hopes for Handsets

7:30 AM -- There's no sign of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. letting up on its aggressive push into the handset market.

Wan Biao, CEO of Huawei Device, has told Reuters he expects the company's consumer device business to achieve revenue growth of 30 percent next year, while smartphone revenues are expected to grow by at least 40 percent.

That would put the Huawei Device unit's 2013 revenue target at about US$11.7 billion, as the Chinese vendor has forecast its device sales to hit $9 billion this year. In 2011, Huawei's device unit generated $6.9 billion in sales, about 22 percent of the company's total revenues. (See Huawei, ZTE Look to Handsets for Growth.)

The other interesting tidbit from this report is that Huawei is developing a smartphone based on Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Windows 8 operating system, with the launch expected later this year or early next year. That device could well be the Ascend W1, as Engadget spotted.

So it looks as though Huawei will soon join High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Samsung Corp. at the Windows 8 party. And with Huawei's drive to grow its handset business, that could be a boon for the Microsoft OS. (See HTC Unveils Its First Windows 8 Phones, Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices and OS Watch: Samsung Beats Nokia to Windows 8.)

The Huawei exec is also reported as saying the company is considering developing its own smartphone operating system. Let's hope that plan stays on the drawing board -- the last thing this industry needs is another OS.

If it does decide to go down that road, though, such a development would undoubtedly have an impact on the mobile device ecosystem, given the Chinese vendor's growing influence. According to Gartner Inc. , Huawei now ranks as the world's sixth-largest device maker. With 10.8 million devices sold in the second quarter of 2012, Gartner estimates a market share of 2.6 percent for the Chinese vendor.

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— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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