HONG KONG (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd HWT.UL, the world’s No.2 network equipment maker, and Discovery Communications Inc (DISCA.O), whose cable networks include Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet, have inked an agreement to develop a co-branded mobile phone targeted at outdoor enthusiasts.
Described as being water-resistant, dustproof and anti-shock, the mobile phone is due to be commercially available in the fourth quarter of 2011. It will retail through operators and distributors globally, Huawei said in an emailed press release to Reuters late on Tuesday.
The Shenzhen-based company was restructured this year into three main units - one that supplies equipment to network carriers, another that makes consumer devices such as cell phones and tablet PCs, and a third, enterprise division.
Huawei derives its revenue, which totaled 185.2 billion yuan ($28.9 billion) in 2010, mainly from network equipment sales, but has been actively marketing consumer devices because of growing global demand for smartphones and tablet PCs.
Huawei and Discovery, whose cable TV networks feature hits such as “Storm Chasers” and “Deadliest Catch,” are branding the mobile as the Huawei-Discovery Expedition phone.
It will have features that include GPS, torch, compass and G-sensor, and be equipped with facebook and Twitter networking capabilities, according to the press release.
In the telecommunications sector, Huawei competes with market leader Ericsson (ERICb.ST) and smaller local rival ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) (0763.HK) in providing infrastructure equipment to network carriers. ($1 = 6.401 Chinese Yuan)
Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters