Huawei aiming to be biggest smartphone brand by 2020

Richard Yu, Huawei’s mobile business head, said the United States’ ban against Huawei has acted as an advertisement for the brand as more global consumers are aware of the brand nowadays.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

Huawei mobile department head Richard Yu said on Thursday the company expects to become the world's largest smartphone brand by 2020, surpassing both Samsung and Apple, even if the Chinese brand is unlikely to conquer the US and South Korean markets.

The tech giant hopes to challenge for the pole position in global smartphone sales by end of this year, but the company is confident to hit the top by 2020 eventually, even if without entering into the US, South Korea, and Brazil, Yu said during an interview in China on Thursday.

Huawei was the third largest smartphone brand globally in 2018, slightly behind Apple in overall shipments while lagging notably behind Samsung, agency data showed.

Yu spoke with media after the company launched its P30 smartphone models for the Chinese market on Thursday. The starting price for the P30 is 3,988 yuan ($594) for the Chinese market, which is about 35% cheaper than the €799 ($900) price point for the European market.

Huawei has invested about $6 billion on smartphone R&D every year, far exceeding other Chinese brands, according to Yu. Earlier reports have said Huawei's consumer business is eyeing $100 billion in smartphone sales in three years' time, and $150 billion in five years' time.

Huawei and its sub-brand Honor, combined, are likely to have the world's largest smartphone sales this year, Yu said in a Sina Weibo post earlier this month, with the two brands expected to continue to lead the smartphone market for the foreseeable future. Yu also added that Honor is aiming to become the second largest smartphone brand in China, or the fourth largest globally.

Although Huawei has been banned from selling telecom equipment in the United States, with some of the United States' allies having also ruled out 5G development opportunities for Huawei, Yu said the opposition against the company has inadvertently improved brand awareness among global consumers. 

"Many people have never heard of Huawei before, but now everyone knows about Huawei," said Yu.

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