Huawei has released some big phones. We don’t see them much here in the U.S. but smartphones like the 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate blur the lines between smartphone and tablet. The next giant phone from Huawei could be something called the PhoPad according to a recently filed trademark that surfaced at the USPTO.
The PhoPad is still in the early rumor stages, we don’t know a lot about it. It’s probably a large screen smartphone along the lines of the Ascend Mate. It could also be some kind of a smartphone-in-a-tablet concept like the Asus PadFone devices. Huawei could be looking to compete with Asus in that market, even though it’s a bit of a niche.
With the Asus PadFone, the smartphone docks in the back of the tablet and actually provides power for the tablet as well. The PhoPad could be a device like the PadFone, or it could just be a really, really big phone that crosses the line in to tablet territory. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is already there, with its 6.4-inch display and large bezels. The Z Ultra is almost the same size as the Nexus 7. Huawei might want be bringing something to the table to compete on that front.
Huawei brought us the Ascend Mate at CES last January. Rumors are swirling that they are planning to unveil the new PhoPad at CES in 2014. That event is only a month away, so we could be seeing this new device from Huawei very soon.
This news won’t mean much to consumers in the United States because Huawei is reportedly going to be exiting the U.S. market. The company applied for a trademark on the PhoPad in the U.S., but Huawei’s William Plummer told Foreign Policy that it “has adjusted our priority focus to markets that welcome competition and investment, like Europe.” The Chinese phone manufacturer has been under scrutiny from the U.S. government over rumors of spying for China. Huawei denies any allegations of spying, of course, and has apparently gotten tired of being accused of taking such actions. Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has said in no uncertain terms that the company has “decided to exit the US market.”