The Gillard government banned Huawei from any involvement in Australia's national broadband network.

Huawei says its new smartphone is faster than any other in the world. Photo: Bloomberg

China's Huawei, the number three smartphone maker behind giants Samsung and Apple, unveiled Sunday a new mobile, the Ascend P2, which it claims is the fastest in the world.

Sharp-cornered and thinner than a pencil at 8.4 mm, the company said it can achieve speeds of 150 Mbps, fast enough to download a two-hour high-definition movie in less than five minutes.

The mobile, which has a 4.7-inch, high definition screen, has a powerful 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and is able to use the fourth-generation high speed mobile networks being rolled out worldwide.

Unveiling the device on the eve of the opening Monday of the four-day Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the company said it was "the world's fastest smartphone," smashing all previous records.

Huawei said its phone surpassed top speeds of 100 Mbps for the fourth-generation network ready versions of Apple's flagship iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy SIII.

The Ascend P2 will launch in France through Orange in June and is also expected to be available worldwide during the second quarter of 2013, it said.

"Ascend P2 downloads HD movies in minutes, and loads online videos, web pages, songs or e-Books in seconds," Huawei said in a company statement issued at the launch.

The phone, which includes a 13 megapixel camera, is the latest shot in Huawei's battle against the fast-growing market's titans Samsung and Apple.

Samsung and Apple accounted for more than half of all smartphone sales in the final quarter of 2012 -- 29.0 percent for Samsung and 22.1 percent for Apple -- according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Behind Samsung and Apple, however, Chinese firms held the third, fourth and fifth spots -- with 5.3 percent for Huawei, 4.7 percent for ZTE and 4.4 percent for Lenovo.

AFP