News Column

Insurgent Huawei takes on costlier smartphone rivals

August 15, 2014

By Suchit Leesa-nguansuk, Bangkok Post, Thailand



Aug. 15--Huawei Technologies is counting on strategic pricing to boost its share of the hyper-competitive local smartphone market, aiming to become one of Thailand's top three vendors by 2015.

The Chinese maker of telecom equipment emerged as the world's third-biggest smartphone player last year, trailing South Korea's Samsung and US-based Apple.

Huawei expects to sell at least 100 million smartphones globally this year, including at least 500,000 units in Thailand.

To be No.3 in the Thai market, Huawei must overcome Samart i-Mobile, Lenovo and Asus.

Michael Wang, channel director for Huawei Technologies (Thailand), said the company is seeking to increase its share of the local smartphone market to 5% this year from 1% in 2013.

Huawei sold 200,000 smartphones in the first half of the year, good for a 2% share in Thailand.

"We expect to sell 500,000 units this year, rising to the number five spot in the local smartphone market," Mr Wang said.

The average selling price for Huawei's smartphones is 20% lower than those of Samsung and Apple phones, but the company touts similar or even greater functionality.

"Our focused phone prices will range from 5,000 to 15,000 baht," Mr Wang said.

Based on a report from GFK Retail Technology (Thailand), smartphone sales in Thailand are expected to reach 11 million units for a market value of 100 billion baht this year, up 18% from 2013.

To achieve its target, Huawei is spending US$6 million on brand awareness, advertising and marketing, as well as building its own retail shops.

Mr Wang acknowledged that Huawei is facing intense competition from established phone makers. The company is increasing its focus on research and development, handset designs and competitive pricing.

Thailand is the company's second-biggest market in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia.

Huawei is introducing two smartphone models and two tablets with features it says should set them apart from rivals.

The highlight is the Honor 3X model equipped with a 5.5-inch display and powered by an octa-core processor.

The phone, priced at 9,990 baht, will compete directly with Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 and S5.

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(c)2014 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)

Visit the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand) at www.bangkokpost.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Bangkok Post (Thailand)


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