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Huawei targets global smartphone dominance within five years

James Pearce
June 29, 2016

Chinese manufacturer targets number one spot by 2021 and will overtake Sony in the UK by next year

Huawei says it will become the third biggest smartphone manufacturer in the UK by the end of next year and will topple Apple and Samsung as global leader by 2021.

The ambitious targets were revealed to Mobile News by Western European president for Huawei Device Walter Ji during the manufacturer’s annual European Innovation Day event, held in Paris earlier this month.

He claims the manufacturer, which has seen annual sales rise from 32 million to 108 million in six years operating under its own brand, is ramping up its global investments in a bid to match the dominance it holds in its home market.

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Global smartphone market share for Q1 2016

Growing up fast

“In China, we are number one and in Europe our business is growing very quickly,” explained Ji who was appointed to the role in February to drive sales in Western Europe.

“In most countries our position is now number three, whilst in Spain and Italy we’re already second. The UK market is quite different. We are lower right now, but we believe we will catch up very quickly. So if not this year, then next year, we will become the number three manufacturer in the UK. And we want to become number one handset manufacturer in the world by 2021.”

UK growth

Huawei is currently the third largest manufacturer in the world having increased its share of the market in Q1 from 5.2 per cent to 8.2 per cent, shipping 27.5 million units – up 10 million year on year.

In contrast, second placed Apple saw iPhone sales fall 16 per cent to 51.2 million during the same period. Samsung numbers fell marginally by 0.6 per cent to 81.9 million.

In the UK, Huawei has moved up from ninth (1.3 per cent) in the sales rankings, to seventh (2.1 per cent) in the past year. It currently sits behind Apple, Samsung, Sony (6.4 per cent), Microsoft (6.0 per cent), Motorola (4.4 per cent) and LG (4.2 per cent) but confidence surrounding its flagship P9 is high, with all UK operators taking stock.

P9 - All (1)
Huawei P9 handset

Huawei CEO Richard Yu revealed sales of the device, its first to be stocked by all operators in the UK, topped 2.6 million in the first six weeks of sale, with UK sales up 300 per cent compared to its previous model, the P8. The device is also being accompanied by its first UK TV campaign launched to boost brand awareness (currently 60 per cent), and the firm is confident of closing the gap on Sony.

“We want to build our brand, and to do that, it is important we invest in more digital marketing,” said Ji. “We’ve launched our first TV advertising campaign for the P9, but we will look at any opportunity that can improve the experience for our P9 customers, and that in turn will help us drive sales.”

Yu added: “These high end devices are attracting more fans than ever before. When consumers around the world are lining up to be the first to buy the P9, it’s clear the appeal of our devices is universal. “

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