Chinese telecom giant Huawei is looking to challenge Apple and Samsung in consumer products by leveraging its dominance in network infrastructure.
Since the launch of its five-year plan, beginning in 2012, Huawei has been shifting its focus expansion from network equipment and services provider to a high-end consumer devices manufacturer.
"Five years ago, neither Apple nor Samsung was such a big player in the mobile device industry as they both are today," said Wan Biao, the company's chief executive of device unit, at the recent Mobile World Congress 2013 held in Barcelona. "You can't predict what Huawei will be like exactly after five years, but we will at least become the industry's top three, probably the biggest."
Huawei launched its latest 4G device Ascend P2 at the mobile tradeshow, proclaiming to offer the fastest LTE smartphone in the world.
"Huawei is not only a device manufacturer, but also a network [equipment vendor]," said Wan. "We develop chips for the phone [as well as] network equipment, and that is unique--no other companies cavn do that, not even Samsung."
He said the company now invest 10 percent of its revenue into research and development, and commands a software engineering team of 45,000. Hence, it has the ability to develop major technologies and devices in the next few years.
"The challenge and opportunity that Huawei has at the moment is in the consumer-end market. Samsung and Apple are the big two, but we will have our chances [to grab the market] and we are marching toward the right direction," said Wan. "Huawei also has the best pricing strategy, [and] we will launch a new top-end smartphone in the second half of 2013."