BARCELONA (REUTERS) - In the rush for new technology, their presence is hard to ignore. The fastest growing major smartphone vendor of 2015, Huawei is centre stage at this year's Mobile World Congress.
Huawei Consumer Group's executive vice-president Colin Giles said: "If any player globally wants to be serious, to be a world leader, you've got to have China."
Huawei certainly has that. Their high-volume, low-margin strategy helped ship 108 million handsets last year, up 44 per cent on 2014.
And Giles says it will not stop there, even with China's slowdown: "You know I think that actually works to our advantage. Because we've got a lot of momentum on our side right now, and we've got a really good efficient machine that's working."
To challenge the big guns though, that machine may need to change, says Gartner's Roberta Cozza, especially when it comes to Western markets.
Cozza said: "The majority of the user base already owns a premium smartphone. It's a replacement market mainly. So users are very knowledgeable, they know what they want, and in their replacement intention they would look for innovation."
The Google-partnered Nexus 6P is designed to address that - a slow-motion camera earning reviews that rival the iPhone's.
Then there is the new Matebook, a Windows hybrid with a pressure-sensitive stylus. But in many cases, says USwitch's Rob Kerr, the message just isn't coming across.
Kerr said: "It just needs the consumer to be aware of them, and then from that, there's a big tie-in, the networks to be aware of them, to list their phones, to retail their phones, to put it in the mind of the consumers and in the hands of the consumers more importantly."
For now, Huawei remains a distant third, with its 7.5 per cent share of the global market still three times less than Samsung's.
Huawei's latest top-of-the-range handset, the 5.2-inch P9, certainly looks like a premium smartphone should -- all aluminium, glass and soft curves. But it's also a little safe, lacking the futurist stylings of Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge, for example.
Apple is still one of the top three smart phones in China, but the recent cool down in sales has as much to do with local competition from Huawei and Xiaomi as it does from the economic slowdown. Companies like Apple are going to have to learn to live with a maturing market in some cases, and sophisticated, high quality competition from new Chinese contenders.
Huawei took to the stage in London in early April to announce the widely anticipated (and hugely leaked) Huawei P9, the latest Android flagship with a dual-camera arrangement never seen before on a phone. We've put the Huawei P9 through its paces and here's our full review including price, release date, design, hardware, cameras and specifications. Also launched was the Huawei P9 Plus, which we've also reviewed.
This week I had the pleasure of being invited to Berlin’s Soho House for a night with Huawei and Baptiste Giabiconi (it almost felt like a Lagerfeld family reunion!). A lot of you reading this will know that I teamed up with Huawei back in December for our project with GQ for A Day In The Life Of project, so I was really keen to see what the tech offering from the new Mate 8 device was like.
Xiaomi and Huawei are the two largest Chinese smartphone manufacturers at the moment. Xiaomi has shipped most devices within China last year, but Huawei is far ahead in global terms. Huawei has managed to become the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer last year, after selling 108 million smartphones. It seems like the company plans on growing even further in the coming years, they have really interesting plans, read on.
After last year's unwieldy attempt, Google had to think a little more carefully about how its nerd-friendly Nexus line should work and feel. Rather than just offer one new phone today, Google showed off two -- the Nexus 5X and 6P -- meant for different subsets of people. The former? It provides enough horsepower for the masses in a body that normal humans won't have trouble carrying (and I'll have a deeper dive ready shortly). The 6P, on the other hand, is the more sophisticated cousin, and more impressive than it might look at first glance.
China's Huawei launched a luxury smartphone and gave more details about its new smartwatch on Wednesday as it looks to shake the dominance of Apple and Samsung at the high-end of the device market.
HONG KONG—For the past three years, Samsung Electronics Co.has been the world’s top seller of smartphones, but its global lead is now under attack from fast-growing Chinese rival Huawei Technologies Co.