Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei has officially announced its plan to promote its high-end Mate 9 smartphone in the U.S. market.
But many obstacles still lie ahead before Huawei can succeed in its new marketing campaign, since telecom service operators control more than 80 percent of mobile phones in the United States. Apart from that, lack of brand cognition and fear of security implications may also prevent service operators from cooperating with Huawei.
In addition, Huawei faces patent disputes with T-Mobile, and hence the two companies are unlikely to team up, leaving AT&T as the more probable cooperator. Neither T-Mobile nor AT&T has made any comment.
Huawei is now the world's third largest mobile phone manufacturer in terms of production output, trailing behind Samsung and Apple. Mate 9 is among Huawei's higher-end products.
Sources said that the Mate 9 will likely to be sold on online shopping platforms such as Amazon. Huawei has not revealed when Mate 9 will be available for purchase or how much it will cost, but the Mate 9 is sold at 699 euros (US9) in Europe, and its price for the U.S. market may be similar.
In Huawei's global strategy, the U.S. market is still a "missing link," as it is limited to selling only lower-end, inexpensive products in the United States. Data from market researcher Canalys show that in Q3 of this year, Huawei's U.S. market share was a mere 0.4 percent. In comparison, the figures for market leaders Apple and Samsung was 39 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
Huawei has reportedly made satisfactory progress in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, after rising to the dominant place in its home market of China.
Canalys data also show that the United States is the world's largest market for higher-end smartphone with prices over US0. If Huawei can edge into the U.S. market, it would have the potential to overtake Apple and Samsung to become the world's top smartphone maker in five years.