Chinese phone firms return to Mobile World Congress
Chinese phone makers flex their tech and innovations in the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023, the world's biggest telecommunications show. The event covers artificial intelligence, chip development, foldable screens and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR).
The MWC show, held through Thursday in Barcelona, Spain, is the first time many Chinese firms return to the booths of the world's IT show after the COVID-19 pandemic. They are using the international stage to speed up global expansion and directly challenge international rivals including Samsung and Apple.
Chinese brand Honor released its new flagship model Magic 5 in Barcelona as its global debut, offering the latest image, screen, battery and artificial intelligence functions. It also launched a new foldable-screen model in the international market.
Technology innovation is Honor's "unique competitive advantage" to explore the high-end international market, and directly challenge Apple and Samsung, said Zhao Ming, Honor's president.
China's ZTE launched a batch of devices, including a naked-eye 3D tablet and AR glasses to meet users' demands in various sectors such as sports, video and entertainment, travel and education. One spotlight tech is a real-time 3D content production technology.
The 5G network with high speed, low latency and large bandwidth has facilitated richer forms of content consumption, said ZTE.
The global wearable device sales will hit 195 million units in 2023, with a moderate growth of 5.1 percent over 2022 and an 11.4 percent growth in 2024. The rate is much higher than the smartphone sales growth in the period, said researcher Canalys.
Smartphone brand OPPO is showcasing its flagship foldable model Find N2, a smart health-care device, and AR glasses at the Barcelona show.
OPPO has integrated the concept of sustainable development into its long-term development strategy. Starting in 2023, OPPO will remove the plastic packaging of phone boxes from the European market and achieve 100 percent recycling on packaging.
Xiaomi is also displaying its flagship model Xiaomi 13 as well as smart home devices and systems at the Barcelona show, with a brand image of both innovation and fashion.
Huawei is exhibiting devices for mobile photography, sports and fitness and smart work, including the flagship model Mate50 Pro and watches.
Global smartphone sales are estimated at 1.19 billion units in 2023, representing a 0.3 percent year-on-year drop from 2022. The sales are expected to grow moderately by 2.5 percent in 2024 as the macroeconomic environment gradually improves, said Canalys.
Despite the decline, small vendors and regional players will have more opportunities when top vendors cut marketing expenses, the researcher said.