Huawei handset deal with Verizon 'happening'

Huawei Mercury
Recognize the phone, try to pronounce the name

Huawei's booth at MobileCon 2012 is in the middle of the exhibit hall.

Its on-the-market handsets are displayed, and a video of man-on-the-street interviews asking people to pronounce the company's name (and guess what it does) plays on a loop.

The video highlights an issue a Huawei representative at MobileCon said the company faces daily - growing a business while at the same time having to educate people on what the heck Huawei is.

"We're still trying to get name recognition on the market," the rep told TechRadar. "We've been in the U.S. for 11 years and Huawei's mobile device division has been up for over five, but people still don't know how to say the name correctly."

In the video, interviewees struggle with the syllables, with one even pronouncing it "Hawai'i." When asked what they think Huawei does, someone guesses it's an airline company before someone finally gets it right.

Still chugging along

Despite the challenges it's facing, Huawei has managed to pump out several phones onto carriers like MetroPCS, Cricket and T-Mobile.

"This is the Mercury, which PC Magazine called the best prepaid phone in America," the rep said, showing off a white phone running Ice Cream Sandwich. PC Magazine staked that claim earlier this year.

The Mercury is certainly handy, with a 4-inch screen, 1.4GHz processor, 8MP camera, HD camcorder recording at 720p and a 1930mAh battery.

With phones like the Mercury getting high praise, handset deals with "Big Four" American carriers like Verizon are "happening," the rep said, along with talks going on at other major Tier 1 U.S. carriers.

"We're on all the Tier 2 companies, like MetroPCS and Leap, and now we're looking to get into the Tier 1 more," he said.

Verizon currently carriers a Huawei-produced fixed wireless terminal, but more handsets on major carriers are the next frontier.

As for Huawei's recent government troubles, another rep told TechRadar that Huawei Device USA is an affiliate of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., the entity the U.S. House Intelligence Committee said should be banned from the country, meaning no impact should come to U.S.-sold phones.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.