x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Huawei cuts out the middleman to target customers directly

Huawei is moving way from its core business of supplying telecoms equipment and hoping to expand its Middle East footprint.

Huawei is moving away from its core business of supplying telecoms equipment to targeting regional consumers directly in a bid to stay ahead of its competitors and expand its Middle East footprint.

The Chinese telecoms vendor, which has rapidly expanded across the Middle East and North Africa, launched what it claims is the world's biggest smartphone in Dubai at Burj Khalifa last night.

"We need to diversify our portfolio in the region. We are working with operators, handsets and enterprise. It gives us a big exposure in the market and improves our image with the customer," said Ihab Ghattas, an assistant president at Huawei Middle East.

"One major problem if you only deal with operators is that normal people do not know you. You have to push public opinion and understanding so that they know there is a vendor called Huawei."

The Ascend Mate, a 6.1 inch smartphone is the world's largest smartphone, the company claims, bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 2's 5.5 inches. The phone was previewed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, but will be available in shops in the region on June 1.

"We do not want to be a vendor just for operators, but for telecoms in general, be it in handsets, solutions or software," added Mr Ghattas.

Last year Huawei reported revenues of US$35.35 billion, of which $7.7bn came from its consumer handset business. The company shifted 127 million devices and now enjoys third position in mobile phone shipments according to IDC, behind Samsung and Apple.

Its revenues from Europe and the Mena region grew 6 per cent to $12.42bn.