LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- The world's third-largest smartphone manufacturer Huawei, not satisfied with just making smartphones, is presenting the concept of an intelligent phone, its business head told Xinhua in an interview Friday.
On the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in the city of Las Vegas in the U.S. state of Nevada this week, Richard Yu, head of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, delivered a keynote speech to put forward Huawei's new concept called the "intelligent phone." This was the second time the CES invited a representative of a Chinese company to give a high-profile keynote speech.
Yu told Xinhua that smartphones which incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) abilities could be considered as "intelligent phones," adding such cellphones could provide computer vision, local decision-making, robotics, air sensors, taste sensors and smart touch to communicate with the outside world.
"These AI-based devices provide a connection between the digital world and the physical world," Yu said. "The future intelligent phone will be like a high-performance robot without arms and legs, a smarter personal assistant."
In 2015, Huawei became the world's third-largest smartphone brand, following Samsung and Apple, with the shipment of 108 million devices.
Huawei has also become the first Chinese cellphone manufacturer to cross the 100 million shipment threshold. In the last year, Huawei sold over 139 million smartphones, a remarkable 29-percent increase compared with 2015.
However, Huawei is not satisfied with third place.
"Now Huawei has sold almost 140 million devices a year, but within two years, this number may increase to 200 million, taking over Apple," Yu said.
Huawei's fast growth was based on its long-term investments in research and development (R&D).
Yu said the company has invested 38 billion U.S. dollars in R&D in the last 10 years. In 2015 alone, Huawei spent 9.2 billion dollars on R&D, making it rank 9th in the world concerning R&D investment, surpassing Apple and Cisco.
"Huawei's R&D investment amount is still growing. In 2017, it may rise to 100 million dollars. With this speed, sooner or later, Huawei will become No. 1 on this," Yu said, adding he was very proud of Huawei's attaching so much importance to R&D.
Gary Shapiro, president of the U.S. Consumer Technology Association, the organizer of the CES, said he was impressed by China's innovation in the consumer technology industry.
He said that China's importance in the global consumer technology industry has been reflected not only by its strong manufacturing ability, but also its increasing engagement in innovation.
"Huawei is such an important growing company, not only in China but globally," said Shapiro. "The keynote platform of CES, which is considered one of the most desirable in the world for any business executive, is appropriate for such an important company to deliver the message we look forward to hearing."
While the intelligent phone remains a concept, Huawei has been testing the idea in its collaboration with Amazon and Google.
Huawei has introduced Amazon's Alexa AI software to its Mate 9 smartphone, the world's first smartphone to be equipped with the intelligent voice service of Alexa.
Yu also announced at the CES 2017 that the Mate 9 phones will be available in the United States starting Jan. 6 for 599 dollars apiece.
"In this industry we need partnerships, we cannot do everything by ourselves ... and we want the best partnerships to bring the best innovation together," Yu said.
Besides the two tycoons Amazon and Google, Huawei is also going to cooperate with Microsoft, Intel and many other companies in different fields.
"To Huawei, 2017 is a pivotal year. We need time to win trust from consumers," Yu said, adding Huawei will unveil more highly intelligent smartphones this year, such as its P10 and P10 Plus with Amazon's Alexa technology and Google's service.
"In the past decades, we humans have witnessed great changes in technology. It is our dream that innovation and the innovated products could push us to move forward rapidly," he said.
"Huawei is much more like a long-distance runner. We focus more on the future instead of making a great fortune overnight," Yu said.