Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > Panview

China Breakthroughs: Smartphones get AI-enabled touch

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

09-08-2017 17:59 BJT

By Tom McGregor, CCTV.com Panview commentator and editor

Chinese telecom giant Huawei is on a roll and we can anticipate stronger momentum ahead. CNBC reports (Sep. 7, 2017) that, "Huawei has surpassed Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone brand."

Consulting firm Counterpoint Research said, "Huawei is now only behind Samsung in sales, thanks to the company's consistent investment in R&D (research and development) and manufacturing, as well as aggressive and creative marketing."

Huawei's strategy is to generate revenues and pour a percentage of profits back into R&D to develop upgrades on its devices and introduce new products to the market.

The Shenzhen-based company has taken another huge step at Berlin's IFA consumer electronics show by introducing Mate 10 to the public for the first time, which come equipped with an AI (artificial intelligence) chipset.

Kirin 970-powered AI smartphones

Mate 10 is expected to go on sale starting in October 2017, which is powered by the Kirin 970 processor with AI capabilities. The new chipset uses 10 nanometer processing technology that can turbocharge smartphones with more enhanced computer graphics, images and digital powers.

"Compared with Samsung and Apple, we have advantages," Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Group told Shanghai Daily. "Users are in for much faster (features) performance, longer battery life and more compact design."

Mate 10 is scheduled for launch on Oct. 16, 2017. Buyers will discover the device offers stronger image recognition with a longer-lasting battery and better camera adaptions.

The new smartphone has a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency, according to ifeng.com.

Challenging bigger rivals

"Making AI computation faster and more efficient will give Huawei an edge, if it can demonstrate improved performance or battery life when conducting everyday tasks," Tim Coulling, analyst at research firm Canalys, told Xinhua.

In recent years, Huawei has grabbed an increasing share of the global smartphone market and has become the most popular in China. Meanwhile, Apple has seen declining sales trends in the country.

But Apple and Huawei will release new flagship models this autumn (2017). The Kirin 970 could be a game-changer for Huawei in the upcoming battle of the two smartphone giants.

Huawei has integrated AI into smartphone hardware, known as on-device AI with sensors that can also enable real-time language translations and heed voice commands.

Mate 10 users will have access to augmented reality as they could overlay text, sounds, graphics and videos on 6-in. display screens.

The future is cloud

"Mobile AI must be driven by both on-device AI and cloud AI," said Yu. "That is the focus of Huawei's AI strategy in the consumer business."

In China, the major players in AI development are known as, BAT (Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings), while Huawei will become a major AI developer in the nation with its Mate 10.

Huawei believes that they can generate substantial revenues by selling AI-enabled smartphones, along with its cloud. AI can player a bigger role

Additionally, Kirin 970 chipsets are owned and operated by Huawei’s subsidiary, HiSilicon design business.

AI R&D Lab

"We're at the threshold of an exciting new era," Richard Yu told China Daily. "Huawei is committed to turning smart devices into intelligent devices by building end-to-end capabilities that support coordinated development of chips, devices and the cloud."

One of Huawei's prominent R&D centers is the Noah's Ark Lab that supports computer research and AI and how to integrate them into smartphones and other devices.

Mate 10 functions on Neural Network Processing Units (NPU) and users can enjoy added upgrades on privacy and security, such as utlizing image-recognition to turn on devices, and staying in power-off mode in case it’s stolen and the robber tries to open them.

With Kirin 970 installed, Mate 10 requires less space for chipsets, so we can see improve functionality, higher speeds and increased energy efficiency. In other words, Mate 10 will process faster while using less power.

Jumpstart on AI smartphones

"The Kirin 970 chipset marks a big improvement from its predecessor, giving Huawei a major edge when competing head-to-head with Apple," China Economic Net quotes Roger Sheng, senior analyst at research firm Gartner Inc.

Apple is considered the leader of the high-end smartphone market, allowing them to sell devices at high profit margins, but Huawei is beginning to catch up with them.

Huawei stands poised to win big with the AI-enabled Mate 10 smartphone.

Newly-added AI features on the smartphone provides the right upgrades for consumers willing to spend more money for devices that bring much more added-value in performance levels. Accordingly, Huawei appears ready to deliver for them.


(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )


Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat