Huawei makes smartphone comeback in Brazil

The company has relaunched its consumer business in the Latin American country with two high-end handsets and local manufacturing plans.

Huawei has relaunched its smartphone business in Brazil and maintained its plans to set up a local manufacturing operation following a strategic review.

The Chinese company had folded its consumer division in the country in 2015 and made a comeback this week, with a flash sale of its two high-end devices, the P30 Pro and P30 lite.

As opposed to how the company used to operate five years ago, where it would supply mobile carriers, where only a tenth of new devices are sold, Huawei has now partnered with major Brazilian retailers.

Both models being sold in the flash sale today (17) are not part of the company's plans for local production. Rather, the firm plans to make more basic options locally.

A year ago, the Chinese technology company had announced that it would be re-launching its mobile phone business in Brazil.

At the time, the company also announced that it would partner with Brazilian consumer goods manufacturer Positivo , who would handle the import and sales aspects of the operation, as well as after sales and technical support for the Huawei products in Brazil, and potentially making them.

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It then emerged that the agreement between the two companies no longer existed . However, according to Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico, the Chinese company said it is still in talks with Positivo, as well as other third parties to support its local manufacturing plans.

Brazil is the fourth largest smartphone market in the world. An increase in device sales is predicted for 2019 and the mobile segment will be the main area of growth for the Brazilian information and communications technology (ICT) sector , according to analyst firm IDC.

The ICT segment in Latin America's largest economy should achieve 4,9 percent growth in 2019. Mobile devices will increase by 18 percent, reaching $24,5 billion and representing 38 percent of all IT spending in 2019 in Brazil, including B2B and B2C sales.

According to IDC, sales volumes will remain low however consumers will be spending more: the analyst predicts that smartphones priced over 10.000 reais ($2,454) should reach the shelves of Brazilian retailers this year.