Huawei has broken out in a sprint growing its smart phone shipments by 70 per cent annually in EMEA. Q3 is also the first time Huawei has shipped over 10 million units in the region in a single quarter. This put the Chinese smartphone major at number three with 14 per cent of smart phone shipments, behind Apple’s 15 per cent and Samsung at 37 per cent, said a new report by research firm Canalys.
“Huawei is becoming much smarter in Europe. It has now evolved to become a major smart phone brand and innovator in its own right,” said Ben Stanton, Research Analyst at Canalys. He said Huawei’s focus this year has been on premium design and branding, with a series of celebrity endorsement deals, as well as product partnerships with the likes of Leica and Porsche Design. “It is clearly trying to break away from its past, and create a brand to rival Apple and Samsung.” Earlier it used to focus on price-to-performance ratio, a good disruptive strategy at the time.
Huawei has already shipped just over 26 million smart phones in EMEA this year, exceeding its total from full-year 2015, with the lucrative holiday season still to come, Canalys said. The company is also key player in developing markets in the Middle East and Africa, where its low-end devices are helping to increase smart phone penetration. It is also making significant inroads into the high-volume Indian market.
However, its 33 per cent sequential growth in Europe is thanks to its focus on improving industrial design has been an important factor behind its success, and helped it to displace the likes of Sony, LG and HTC, Canalys said. Huawei’s mid-range and premium devices like the P9 have allowed it consolidate this position.
However, Stanton said Huawei still has issues with specification overlap between different product lines, though it is certainly in a strong position to keep growing. “It launched the Mate 9 at the perfect time to exploit Samsung’s Note7 fiasco. As the Note5, along with other competing products, such as the LG V20 and Xiaomi Mi Note 2, never launched in Europe, Huawei now finds itself with no major competition in the 5.5-inch plus segment. It will be hard to entice European consumers to upgrade to super-large screens en masse. But if the appetite exists, Huawei has a real opportunity to become the pre-eminent vendor in that category.”