Huawei Beats Apple, Samsung With New Smartphone
China’s Huawei Technologies unveiled a new smartphone, aiming at the high end of the market, which is dominated by Apple and Samsung Electronics. The tech firm launched its new device, Mate S, on the sidelines of Europe’s biggest consumer electronics show, IFA, in Berlin.
With a 5.5-inch display, a 13 mega pixel rear camera and fingerprint security. Huawei says it is one of the first smartphones to include a Force Touch display, which can distinguish between a light tap and deep press, enabling access to more functions just by pressing harder. Apple is also expected to introduce iPhones featuring Force Touch technology next week.
Huawei is now the world’s third-biggest smartphone company by sales last month, according to research firm Gartner, overtaking Chinese rival Lenovo, and aims to become the first Chinese firm to sell more than 100 million smartphones this year. But it is still far behind Samsung, which had 21.9 percent of the market in the second quarter, and Apple, on 14.6 percent. Huawei’s share rose to 7.8 percent from 5.4 percent in the first quarter.
Huawei’s Mate S phone is priced at $732, comparable to some higher-end Apple iPhone 6 series models, according to reports. Huawei has its roots in telecoms equipment gear where it competes with the likes of Ericsson and Nokia, but it has invested heavily in consumer devices in recent years.
“Huawei aspires to be the next Samsung, successful with both premium design and by shipping large numbers of smartphone models,” IHS analyst Ian Fogg told Reuters and expects Huawei to ship about 109 million smartphones this year.
“2015’s Huawei smartphone launches show the company is finally coming close to meeting these market goals which Huawei set some years ago.”
The top of the smartphone market is a tough environment, as Samsung has experienced. While it remains the world’s biggest smartphone maker, Apple is inching closer.
Meanwhile, China has long been the world’s biggest smartphone market, representing over 30 percent of the world’s sales, but the slowdown in the country’s economy, together with suggestions of market saturation, are pushing Chinese smartphone makers to seek new growth abroad.
Many Chinese smartphone makers are already employing new tactics to win over foreign consumers. Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility from Google for $12.5bn in 2014 and strengthened its global footprint.
Xiaomi, often called “Apple of China”, has set its sights on developing markets, selling one million handsets in India since launching there six months ago. Xiaomi’s success is largely tied to its simple but effective marketing strategy. It sells its devices online, cutting excessive costs on distribution, and markets its products through social media, word-of-mouth and its popular “flash hour sales”.
While Chinese smartphone makers are said to dominate the global smartphone scenario, these players however should exercise caution, believe experts. The second quarter of 2015 saw the slowest growth rate for global smartphone sales since 2013, according to a new report released by Gartner, which attributes the slowing growth of smartphone sales to the decline in the China market for the first time.
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