Chinese networking goliath Huawei is hoping to compete with rivals Apple and Samsung in the mobile device market by making phones that offer better connectivity. 

Huawei's core business is in carrier networks but the Shenzhen-headquarted company is trying to place a larger emphasis on its consumer business, which includes mobile devices. 

Huawei VP of mobile device marketing, Shao Yang, claimed the three key technologies underpinning smartphones and tablets are hardware, software and connectivity, adding that Samsung is "definitely the best" on hardware and "Apple is the best" on software. 

However, Yang claimed that Huawei is a step ahead of other mobile device manufacturers when it comes to connectivity because it has a strong networking background and it builds the infrastructure that underpins many of today's mobile networks, from the base station and the antenna to the LTE chip in the mobile device. 

"Currently 4G is the one thing that is changing the connection," he said. "In 4G I think we can see opportunity for Huawei. Huawei has the best chipset to provide the best LTE connection.

"The [other] smartphone vendors don't understand the network," he said. "We understand better than others. In future the technology will be more and more complicated with different bands and different standards." 

However, Yang confessed that Huawei still needs to improve certain aspects of its consumer business in order to reach its full potential. "We have the knowledge but maybe we not understand the consumers so much so that part we need to improve," he said. 

Huawei, which launched its flagship P6 phone in London earlier this year, shipped 13.4 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2013, up 2.26 million on the 11.14 million shipped in the second quarter. 

Huawei is now the fourth largest smartphone provider in the world but revenues generated by the company's carrier network business are still three times larger than those generated by the consumer business. 

Last week the company announced it was going to open a $200 million R&D centre in the UK that will focus on optoelectronics, device design, software development and other fields.