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Tuesday, Feb 19th

Huawei determined to take on Samsung

Huawei determined to take on Samsung

Huawei's move past Apple into second place in worldwide smartphone shipments in Q2 2018 (according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker released at the end of July 2018) will help the company withstand the impact of a marginal downturn (1.8%) in the global smartphone market.

This is according to Jason Chen, Chief Marketing Officer in MEA for the Huawei Consumer business group, who added that the Africa market has a critical role to play in the company's strategy to challenge Samsung's top spot.

Chen said Samsung had the biggest share of the 348.2 million smartphones shipped by vendors globally in Q2 at 71.5 million compared to Huawei's 54.2 million. Samsung shipped fewer units than the year before although it maintained first position, according to the IDC.

"I think for African countries we will bring more innovation to our consumers not only in the high-end but also in the middle segments. In the coming months the biggest thing is our Mate which is for our high-end people. In South Africa we will bring middle segment flagships in September which we like to call 'light flagships, which are of very good quality and with good features and (at an) affordable price."

Of Huawei's exploits and the ongoing tussle between operators for market share, analyst Stephen Ambrose, CEO of Strategy Worx Consulting, said, "They are not shy at all and they have said specifically that they want to be number one in two years and they have said that for three years now and number one is still Samsung. They are after Samsung's market share everywhere. For Huawei it is a winning game even if the market is losing because they are after growth within themselves and they buck the trend."

"The market is actually killing the smaller guys like HTC, Sony and Xiaomi who are all shrinking as the big three are all growing - except Samsung which lost a little bit in the last year. I expect Samsung to produce a massive kickback but Huawei are playing a very long game and seem to be executing. I think the launch of their new Kirin chipset in IFA now which will be in their Mate 20 will be another big step for them in terms of market share so let's see."

Chen emphasised the need to focus on innovation and consumer requirements and added, "The market will always change. Sometimes it goes up and other times it goes down, but the thing is you can always grow even if the market is down - if you remain innovation oriented and consumer oriented. That is what will keep us ahead in the market. It is not like we are happy to see that the market as a whole has dropped down but that depends on consumer demand. The smartphone market has grown a lot over many years and more people now have smartphones. Even the operators, for example, experienced the same when the telecoms market grew rapidly before hitting difficult times. You need to be ready for this and have the technology to address this kind of challenge."


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