Huawei has become one of the most recognizable consumer-tech brands in the world in a relatively short period of time. It's among several Chinese companies that reaped the rewards of an explosion in smartphone sales in its home nation, taking that momentum and branching out internationally. Still, Huawei's felt sort of like the New Balance of the smartphone world -- a tier-two brand that isn't quite as cool as Adidas (Samsung) or as desirable as Nike (Apple). But in 2018, something changed. This summer, Huawei supplanted Apple as the second biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world, behind Samsung -- a claim it's held on to as we moved into fall.
For years, Huawei has been developing its own high-powered processors and modems, all to power its big portfolio of mobile devices. And so far, the company has refused to sell any of those to its competitors. We've learned, however, that the company might be softening that stance. A source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to Engadget that Huawei is now "open" to selling its 5G Balong 5000 chipsets, but only to one company: Apple. Such a deal would be unusual, to say the least.
Chinese tech giant Huawei has punished two employees for sending a New Year's greeting on the smartphone maker's official Twitter account using an iPhone. Shenzhen-based Huawei, whose P-series handsets compete with Apple's iPhones, on December 31 wished followers a'Happy 2019' in a tweet marked with'via Twitter for iPhone'. The tweet was quickly removed and replaced with a new post but screenshots of the blunder spread across social media. In an internal memo dated January 3, Huawei said it has demoted two employees responsible by one rank and reduced their monthly salaries by 5,000 yuan (£570). Huawei sent a'Happy 2019' greeting on its official Twitter account with a'Twitter for iPhone' stamp on December 31.
Huawei could be the first company to launch a foldable phone beating Samsung or Apple. Industry watchers say the Chinese brand could debut its device by the end of this year. DigiTimes reported Monday that the world's first foldable smartphone will likely make its debut toward the end of 2018. Huawei submitted a patent application for a foldable phone to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in September 2017. The documentation indicated that Huawei was developing a single display screen that can be folded in the middle.
Seven years after entering the smartphone race, Huawei now sells more smartphones worldwide than Apple -- yet none of the Chinese company's models is in the world's top 10, according to research firm Counterpoint. Wrenching the number two slot from Apple is a notable achievement given that Huawei, which formerly only sold telecoms equipment, launched its first Ascend smartphone for Western markets in 2010. Huawei is still not a hugely popular brand in the US, but sales in China, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East helped propel it into second spot behind Samsung in July, according to Counterpoint. The company's analysts reckon Huawei and other Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and Oppo have stifled growth prospects for Apple and Samsung in China, Europe and Latin America by "outsmarting and outspending" them in sales, marketing, backed by better hardware. Despite Huawei's coup, the analyst firm highlights a number of weaknesses in Huawei's current state.