Mate 20 launch to underpin Huawei bid to reach top spot

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Ji: Mate 20 wil surpass 20m

Bullish Huawei reckons its latest device is on course to sell more than 20 million units worldwide

Huawei’s launch of the flagship Mate 20 last week was accompanied by the company’s bullish claims to overtake rivals and become the world’s biggest phone manufacturer by end of next year.

The Mate 20, launched last week, has already been acclaimed as being among the best top-tier products. But analysts have mixed views on this aspiration.

Samsung shipped 73 million smartphones in Q2 this year, compared with 54 million from Huawei – including 16 million from sub-brand Honor. Apple shipped 41 million units.

“I wouldn’t say Huawei will take first by the end of Q4 next year because there’s still Apple’s challenge to consider,” said IDC senior research analyst Marta Pinto.

“But Samsung should feel threatened; the Mate 20 is a game changer in the Huawei story. The P20 is already a statement, but this year Huawei will push Apple and Samsung even more as Samsung hasn’t really impressed with its portfolio this year”.

Battleground

Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton added: “The real battleground between Huawei and Samsung is in smartphones below £500. But Huawei has also changed its stance with the Mate 20.

“Previously the message has been premium specs at a lower price. Now it seems to be better specs at the same price.”

But Stanton agreed Huawei could be number one by the end of next year. “I don’t expect Huawei to be number two going into Q3 and Q4 because Apple has the uptick in volume due to the launch of the XS range and XR. But the possibility is there for Huawei to be number one by the end of next year.”

Huawei Western Europe consumer business group president Walter Ji said the Mate 20 series will surpass the 20 million units target set for the P20.

“Last year we were very successful with the Mate 10. The Mate series has been going on a vertical since the Mate 7. We’re confident that the Mate 20 series will be more appreciated by consumers. Overall we haven’t laid a clear target for the Mate 20 series, but the Mate 20 will be more successful than the P20.”

Shipments

Huawei shipped 95 million smartphones worth £36.25 billion in revenue in the first half of this year, up 30 per cent over the year before. Ji cited GfK figures that showed Huawei is the largest vendor in Portugal with a 20 per cent share, and top in Spain and Italy with a 30 per cent share.

Specs

The Mate 20 follows on from the Mate 10 and brings unique features such as reverse wireless charging, in-screen fingerprint sensor, 40W charger though USB-C, and double sided SIM card tray.

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