Huawei Ascend P6 is world's slimmest smartphone

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Smartphone manufacturers have the tricky task of chasing not one but two Holy Grails. The first is a phone that will become the iKiller, a smartphone that can shake the all-conquering iPhone from its perch as the dominant handset. The second is the world's thinnest phone, a handset that is so gossamer-thin it looks like you are texting on a piece of card. Pointless? Well, of course, but the thing about desirable tech is that it doesn't really have to make sense.

Cue appreciative quasi-erotic murmurs among early adopters at the launch of the Ascend P6 from Chinese players Huawei. It is a remarkable 6mm thin, and is aimed quite brazenly at the narcissistic hipster. Otherwise why bother bundling in photo software offering "instant facial beauty support" software reducing wrinkles and enhancing skin tones for those all important candid Twitter snaps?

Apple and Samsung dominate the market, but Huawei are gearing up for a serious challenge. The cool design and desirable features will lure interest but the key selling point is likely to be the price. Disregarding the deals available with contracts, the Ascend will be substantially cheaper, retailing at around £385 compared to the latest iPhone which has a daunting UK price tag of £529.

"Huawei is prepared to use pricing as a way of building share in major European markets," market analyst Ben Wood told The Guardian. "Huawei has made substantial progress in design and quality, but the big unanswered question is whether consumers will accept a product from an almost unknown name in preference to established brands."

Although Apple has always relied on a fierce brand loyalty from its fanboys, there are signs that this might be fragmenting. Excellent rival products from Samsung and now Huawei, along with a certain degree of hipster distaste at Apple's tax affairs could signal the possibility of the market leader's domination beginning to weaken.

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