Huawei eyes bigger slice of high-end pie

Updated 2018-03-29 10:08:04 China Daily

Smartphone vendor Huawei Technologies Co Ltd unveiled its latest smartphones in Paris on Tuesday, in a new push to grab market share from Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co in Europe.

"Western Europe is of great strategic significance to Huawei, especially as the company encounters bottlenecks in the US. It is adjusting its strategies toward the high-end smartphone segment in Europe to gain a greater market share," said Jia Mo, senior analyst at market research firm Canalys.

Huawei's P20 premium version, the P20 Pro, comes with a triple Leica camera which is regarded as the best camera among existing handsets, an upgrade in clear response to the recent unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S9 in Barcelona.

"We will not stop in our efforts to explore the integration of technology into smartphone photography," said Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group.

The P20 Pro is embedded with better sensors and AI technologies so that customers can take photos even when it is dark and can capture what the company claims are "incredible" details at a distance.

"These breakthroughs reveal Huawei's strong ambition to take on its rivals in the European market, where they have gained some momentum," said Jia.

Huawei's smartphone shipments in Europe grew more than 50 percent in the first half of 2017 and it now ships more phones than Samsung or Apple in Italy and Spain-two major smartphone markets.

"However, it still has some gaps with Apple and Samsung in Western Europe in the high-end sector," noted Jia, adding that whether consumers will switch to Huawei still needs to be explored as the newly launched smartphones are priced high.

The company also launched Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS, a luxury version that shares all the features of the P20 Pro but has an in-display fingerprint sensor in addition to a second fingerprint sensor on the rear.

Huawei's P20 Pro will be sold at up to 899 euros (,113) in Europe compared with the iPhone X, which is priced at around 1,359 euros in some European countries.

The move came on the same day that Xiaomi launched its new MIX 2S series, revealing an ultra-competitive market among Chinese smartphone vendors.

"We notice that Huawei often holds its launch ceremonies for high-end phones abroad, which expands its overseas recognition and improves its brand image in China," Jia added.

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