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Huawei unveils world's slimmest smartphone

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, seeking to expand its presence in the United States and Europe, has unveiled the world's slimmest smartphone.

At 0.26 inches (6.68 millimeters), the Ascend P1S is thinner than the width of a pencil. Apple's latest iPhone, the 4S, by comparison, has a thickness of 0.37 inches (9.3 mm).

Huawei Device chairman Richard Yu said the Ascend P1S combines being the slimmest smartphone in the world with "high performance."

"It's very convenient, very comfortable in your hand," Yu told a press conference on the eve of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Yu said he expected the Ascend P1S, which is powered by the latest generation of Google's Android software, to go on sale in Europe in March and the following month in the rest of the world, including the United States.

He said the company was still negotiating prices with telecom carriers but he expected the device to sell for around $400.

The Ascend P1S features front- and rear-facing still and video cameras and a 4.3-inch (10.92-centimeter) screen.

Yu acknowledged Huawai is not well known for high-end devices in the United States but he hoped the Ascend P1S would help change the image of the company.

"Our problem is our brand is not recognized by many people," Yu said. "We need to do some branding in the US market."

Huawei, founded more than 20 years ago by Ren Zhengfei, a former People's Liberation Army engineer, is at the forefront of Chinese efforts to shift from being the world's workshop to being the creators of genuine global brands.

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