Feeds

Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe

World Mobile Telephone Factory No.3 won't fling the big bucks around just yet

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Huawei insists its won’t splash the cash to compete with Samsung and Apple in Europe’s overcrowded consumer market. Late last year, Huawei became the world’s No 3 phone maker* from a standing start: it only began selling branded phones three years ago.

Although Huawei itself is now gigantic with 150,000 employees – and a mind-boggling 70,000 engineers working on R&D – the new consumer business group is frugal. That’s because it’s profitable, and the only other profitable smartphone company after Apple and Samsung, the company said at its annual analyst event here in Shenzen today. And it wants to stay profitable.

Huawei shifted 53 million phones last year, most of which are smartphones. Before the Consumer Business Group was launched in 2011, it made them for other people. Surprisingly Europe is one of its target markets, alongside the more obvious home market and emerging economies like Russia and Brazil.

“We will not engage in significant advertising campaigns. We want to leverage word of mouth marketing,” Eric Xu, the incumbent “rotating CEO” said today.

(Huawei has a curious arrangement where three executives share the CEO role, rotating every six months. Xu hinted that this might be replaced by an even more unconventional “team” structure in the future.)

“The principle is to be profitable,” confirmed Shao Yang, VP of marketing at Huawei’s Consumer Business Group.

'We can't waste money'

Huawei’s strategy is to avoid the low-margin end of the market (unlike Landfill Android) and emphasise one or two key differentiators – such as longer battery life than rivals – alongside increasingly smart design, and choice of materials, where “we need to try something new”.

We highlighted some of these differentiators at Mobile World Congress in February. The successor to the current Android flagship, the P6, is unveiled in a fortnight and Yang promised it would feature more unusual materials.

Yang thought Europe was worth fighting for because “consumers are visionary” here and respond to something different. Windows Phone’s rapid rise perhaps supports that case. Then again, HTC has again produced the most attractive design with its M8, yet it’s struggling to gain share.

Earlier in the day Xu observed: “The Consumer Business Group may not be as down to earth as they used to be, simply because of the success they achieved last year. Therefore we cooled that down, so they can become sober to fully understand who they are and where they should go.”

Marvellous stuff. Chinese technology executives tend to be quite frank. ®

* Huawei doesn't actually manufacture: it outsources to others, such as Foxconn (literally) over the road in Shenzen.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.