Chinese brand now considered a real alternative to Apple and Samsung duopoly
Industry analysts have placed their backing behind Huawei ambitions to achieve its target as the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the UK.
The support comes after the release of the Chinese manufacturers “competitive” flagship phablet device, the Mate 10 last week (Oct 16) in Munich, eight months after announcing the ambition to become the leading mobile manufacturer in terms of shipments.
Canalys analyst Ben Stanton said: “With the devices aggressively priced, available in all the major channels it’s clear Huawei wants to give people a real alternative to the duopoly of Apple and Samsung.
According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse for July 2017, Huawei has now surpassed Apple in global smartphone sales consistently for June and July.
Counterpoint’s Research Director Peter Richardson said: “This is a significant milestone for Huawei and speaks volumes of how far it has grown in the consumer mobile handset space in the last three to four years.”
Its smartphone shipment rose 20.6 percent on-year to 73 million and in May, a report from Gartner said Huawei had up to nine per cent of the global market share in the first quarter of 2017, behind leaders Samsung and Apple.
However IDC research director Francision Jeronimo said that despite the duopoly that currently dominate the global smartphone shipments, Huawei’s ambition should not be dismissed because “anything can happen” in the mobile market.
Jeronimo added: “Its definitely now possible for Huawei to become a leading manufacturer by 2021. They secured a very strong position within the market, their camera is brilliant and their Kirin 970 chipset is something that differentiates them from everyone else in this market.”
Key innovations from the latest handset included the introduction of artificial intelligence, incremental camera improvements and a new Kirin 970 chipset.
However, despite the support, Stanton offered caution when talking about the manufacturer, adding that more innovation and differentiation is needed.
He said: “Huawei has incredible momentum but it is becoming harder for smartphone companies to differentiate which even the largest companies are not immune from.
“Huawei has demonstrated it is a market leader in hardware but it needs to showcase real functions and applications that will make a difference to its customers, camera and voice recognition improvements will not be a deal-breaker for its customers.
“It has nailed the hardware side, with Kirin 970, but now it needs great software which it has never been renowned for so this is its greatest challenge moving forward.”
The Huawei Mate 10 will roll out in Europe later this month (October) for the standard iteration with the Pro landing in mid November.