Biz / Tech

Huawei on target to be smartphone king

China's leading brand, which recently replaced Apple as the global No. 2 in smartphones, could soon overtake South Korea's Samsung.
Zhu Shenshen / SHINE

Yu Chengdong, Huawei's consumer business group president, talked IoT and smartphone strategy during AWE.

Huawei Technologies could overtake Samsung as the world's leading smartphone company this year, eying sales of up to 260 million units.

“We may be the world’s No. 1  or very close ... this year,” Yu Chengdong, Huawei consumer business group president, said in Shanghai at Thursday's opening day of the AWE Appliance and Electronics World Expo, Asia’s biggest home appliance fair.

The Chinese company overtook Apple Inc as global No. 2 in the second quarter of last calendar year, with sales surging 21 percent to give Huawei an almost 16 percent market share, compared with Samsung's 21 percent and Apple's 12 percent.

Samsung shipped 293.7 million handsets last year, down from 316.6 million from the previous year.

In the middle- to high-end smartphone segment, Huawei has 34 percent of the market in China, the world's biggest smartphone market.

Huawei plans to invest at least 1 billion yuan (US$149 million) on research and infrastructure for its Internet of Things ecosystem, called HiLink, which connects multiple devices — such as phones, routers, TVs, air conditioners and speakers. 

Huawei's production of home appliance devices is not to compete with its partners, but to facilitate the ecosystem that will boost Huawei’s business on smartphone and cloud, Yu said.

Huawei’s growth has challenged Apple and Samsung in China, especially in high-end markets.

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