After surpassing Apple in global smartphone sales, Huawei now has its sights set on besting Samsung to become the world's No. 1 phone vendor. The Chinese phonemaker raised its forecast for full-year smartphone shipments to more than 200 million and said it could become the world's top vendor of the devices in the final quarter of next year. It comes just days after Huawei overtook Apple as the second largest smartphone maker in the world. Huawei raised its forecast for full-year smartphone shipments to more than 200 million and said it could become the world's top vendor of the devices in the final quarter of next year Now, the company expects full-year shipments to beat an initial target of 180 million after it shipped more than 95 million smartphones in the first half, said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group. 'I think it's no problem that we become the global No.2 next year; in Q4 next year, it's possible we become No.1,' Yu said during a media briefing on Friday.
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei's second-quarter revenue plunged 38 percent, according to figures released Friday, with smartphone sales suffering from US sanctions and the offloading of its budget brand Honor. Huawei is at the centre of an intense US-China trade and tech rivalry after the government of former president Donald Trump voiced concern the company could be used for espionage. The United States has provided no evidence of spying but has barred Huawei from acquiring technologies crucial to its operations such as microchips and cut it off from using Google's Android operating system. For the first half of the year, Huawei's overall revenues were 320.4 billion yuan ($49.6 billion), down 29 percent year on year, the Shenzhen-based firm said. Its net profit margin was 9.8 percent, up slightly from the same period last year.
How does a Chinese smartphone company like Huawei which is relatively unknown in the U.S. sell its new flagship smartphone that is going up against premium devices like Appe's iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S7? Simple, get the Avengers and Superman to sell it for you. Huawei, which launched the P9 and P9 Plus smartphones in London on Wednesday, is hoping the star appeal of two of Hollywood's biggest names -- Scarlett Johansson and Henry Cavill -- as well as a partnership with iconic German photography company Leica, will help it finally break free of the perception that it is just a budget manufacturer. It also hopes these moves will help it make an impact on the U.S. market where it not only faces challenges from Apple and Samsung at the premium end of the market, but where it also needs to overcome the negative perception associated with its brand. An all-metallic smartphone that is slimmer than either the iPhone 6S or the Galaxy S7, the P9 features an all-new dual-sensor camera co-engineered with Leica that promises to produce photographs better than anything available from Apple or Samsung. Just like Apple, Huawei will offer its new phone in two sizes, with the P9 featuring a 5.2-inch screen and the P9 Plus featuring a 5.5-inch screen.
Huawei's Honor brand will capitalise on the rising popularity of mobile gaming with the launch of more game-centric smartphones like Honor Play going forward, a company executive has said. The Chinese tech giant sub-brand launched Honor Play in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines on Tuesday. Launched in India and China earlier, the smartphone has a price of around just $300 but features the firm's flagship Kirin 970 chipset, the firm's own software dubbed GPU Turbo that reduces single frame SoC power consumption by 30 percent, and a vibration feature that turns on during gaming for partnered titles such as PUBG. "The mobile game market is expanding at an extraordinary pace," said Zheng Shubao, president of Honor Business Southern Pacific. "We are a brand aimed at youth and it is an unstoppable trend among millennials and one of our priorities in R&D." Consoles and other gadgets may work as interesting additions to complement game-centric smartphones, Zheng said, though he added that nothing was finalised on the matter.
Huawei has announced a full-year net profit of 47.5 billion yuan for 2017, up 22.7 percent from the 37.1 billion yuan reported a year earlier, attributing the result to its smartphones, enterprise solutions, and the digital transformation across industries. The Chinese networking giant brought in 603.6 billion yuan ($92.5 billion) revenue during the year, up 15.7 percent from 521.6 billion yuan in 2016. A breakdown of its revenue saw its carrier business grow by the smallest amount, rising by just 2.5 percent year on year to bring in 297.8 billion yuan. "Through advancements in technology like 5G, we are helping telecom networks connect more people, more homes, and more organisations. Ultimately, we aim to position telecom networks as the basic infrastructure of the digital world," Huawei rotating CEO Ken Hu said in the results report [PDF], with Huawei unveiling its first 5G customer premises equipment during MWC in February.