Manufacturer to invest more in UK marketing and form closer partnerships with retailers as global brand awareness accelerates
Huawei says it will sell 100m smartphones this year as it continues its “monumental” progress in the device market.
The Chinese manufacturer made the claims during Mobile World Congress after unveiling three new wearable products; the TalkBand B2, TalkBand N1 and the Huawei Watch.
Globally, Huawei sold more than 75 million smartphones last year, up 45 per cent year on year. It makes Huawei the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer on the planet, a remarkable rise having only entered the space just four years ago.
The launch of new handsets, including the scheduled unveiling of its new flagship the P8 in London next month – coupled with a new brand campaign, means Huawei is confident it can again break sales records.
Want to achieve more
“In 2014 we did a pretty good job in the smartphone space,” said Jerry Huang (pictured) in an exclusive Mobile News interview.
“This year we are very much confident and ambitious to achieve more, increasing our market share in the smartphone and the wearables space. Our target for 2015 is 100 million smartphone sales. That not including our wearable products.
“The reason we believe we can achieve that is all part of our evolution as a company. We changed from B2B to B2C four years ago from building devices for our partners. We felt this was the wrong way to do our business and instead build a brand and step in to the mid-high tier and show
people we are an innovative and creative company. That is the way for consumers to love you.”
Amy Lou (pictured right), speaking during Huawei’s global launch in Barcelona’s plush W Hotel described Huawei, which saw revenues rise 30 per cent to $12.12 billion last year, as transforming from an unknown to a “major” brand in the global handset market.
“We embarked on a journey to build Huawei into a strong consumer brand and an aim to become as familiar and as famous as those biggest names at Mobile World Congress 2013.
“We have transformed from a late comer in this category to one of its major players. We started with virtually no awareness in the consumer space, but by the end of last year our global awareness has reached 65 per cent, that means two thirds of consumers around the world now know our brand.”
Huang continued: “In China, our home market, we have achieved 90 per cent awareness. What once seemed a far-fetched dream, become a reality – but this is just the beginning.”
Despite global growth – the firm admits the UK has invested billions in recent years, remains a difficult one to crack.
Huang claims the UK market is like no other in the world, with leading brands Apple and Samsung having such a large percentage of the market, accounting for around 60-70 per cent.
He says Huawei has under one per cent share in the UK today, considerably less than its more popular European markets, such as Spain and Germany which at times last year reached around seven per cent.
However, plans are afoot to increase its credibility and standing in the UK market, with a number of initiatives in place this year, most notably around its marketing and pushing for greater retail partnerships.
UK market a ‘must win’
“We take the European market very seriously,” said Huang. “We call it a second home land region for Huawei and a ‘must win’ region. We are a global company, so China only represents around 40 per cent of our total revenues.
“For some markets we have done a pretty good job such as Germany, Italy and Spain where our market shares are already past five per cent.
“The UK is a tough market. It’s different to other European countries and has its own system and the UK public are more strict to their smartphone, so our share is very low.
“We are going to increase our product strategy, talk to more partners and we are doing more investment. We are doing a lot of things to enhance our efforts and to make a change in 2015.”