Huawei P9, the Chinese device maker’s flagship smartphone for 2016, is set to be made available in at least four variants according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke with online technology publication Venturebeat.
The four will include a “regular” P9, a P9Lite, a P9max and a feature packed “more premium” version of the device, the P lineup’s equivalent of the Mate S Premium we saw last year.
Huawei, which managed to ship over 100 million smartphones in 2015, is counting on the four versions of its flagship device to propel its sales numbers and boost revenues for its mobile business. In 2015, Huawei’s P8 family had the regualr P8, the P8Lite and the P8max. These devices were however introduced in various markets separately with the regular P8 being given more priority over the rest.
While this will be a first for the company if it actually happens, it will bring to fore questions that were asked when Samsung was releasing many devices bearing the flagship Galaxy S branding. There was the impression that having devices at the upper and lower mid-range category bearing Galaxy S branding was watering down what was otherwise a high value premium brand. Remember the Galaxy S Duos? The infamous Galaxy S3 Lite or the several “mini” versions of the Galaxy S III, S4 and S5?
On the other hand, there is need in the market for an expanded family of devices. Take for instance the increasing use of QHD display panels on premium smartphones and other features that are costly to include in a device like fingerprint sensors and pressure sensitivity. However, none of the devices in the P9 family will likely to pack a QHD panel. With the new Huawei P9 not expected to arrive before March (sadly they will reportedly not be ready by the time Mobile World Congress is on next month), there is still time for more clearer details to filter through and give us a more definite picture of what to expect.