x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Change of tack for third-biggest global smartphone vendor

Shao Yang, the vice president of marketing for Huawei Device, said the company had evolved from fixed networks to wireless, then to broadband services.

Huawei is in the process of transforming itself from an original design manufacturer to serve its customers, to an original equipment manufacturer to build devices according to its own specifications, and capitalise on higher margins.

Its consumer business group is one of its three units and offers products including mobile phones, mobile broadband services, home devices, cloud services and consumer chipsets. Last year revenues in the consumer business group was 48.4 billion yuan (Dh29.2bn), accounting for 22 per cent of overall revenues. Within this group, the device unit is key.

Shao Yang, the vice president of marketing for Huawei Device, said the company had evolved from fixed networks to wireless, then to broadband services, adding he believed there was room for Huawei in an expanding market.

“We are building our brand globally. We provide innovation and quality. We hope that people want not only Apple and Samsung, but that people want more surprises from other brands,” he said.

“In Huawei, we have mostly three devices – phones, mobile Wi-Fi or dongle, or something like a box in the home. We are trying to bring all of this in together and connect it with experience,” said Mr Shao.

“In mobile devices our market share is 60 per cent. We respect and admire what Apple and Samsung have done very much, but we also see there are some things they have not done very well,” he said.

Last year, the group shipped 127 million devices, including 52 million handsets, 50 million mobile broadband products and 25 million home devices. Total smartphone shipments were 32 million, up 60 per cent on the previous year.

Based on shipment numbers, Huawei Device was third among global smartphone vendors in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year.

This year has seen the launch of its Ascend P2 at CES, a smartphone featuring a 12.7cm HD 443 PPI Super Retina screen, and the world’s slimmest smartphone, the Ascend P6, which is just 6.18mm thick.

business@thenational.ae