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[July 31, 2014]
Huawei's phone shipments up 62% [China Daily: Europe Weekly]
(China Daily: Europe Weekly Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said first-half smartphone shipments rose 62 percent year-on-year, as it targeted the more expensive smartphone sector dominated by South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.
Huawei shipped 34.27 million smartphones globally in the first six months, or about 43 percent of its full-year target of 80 million, according to Reuters' calculations based on figures provided by Huawei.
"We recorded faster growth in areas such as the Middle East and Africa and Latin America, with 275 percent and 550 percent year-on-year growth in the second quarter, respectively," Shao Yang, vice-president of marketing in the consumer business group, told Reuters in a written statement.
He attributed the growth to improving brand awareness and stronger sales channels in overseas markets.
"Based on the growth momentum at the moment, we are firmly moving toward our full-year target," Shao said, adding that smartphones now account for 97 percent of Huawei's global phone shipments.
The company, which competes with Chinese makers Lenovo Group Ltd and ZTE Corp, shipped about 21 million smartphones globally in the second quarter, up 85 percent year-on-year.
Huawei's strong growth in smartphone shipments confirms the challenge facing market leader Samsung Electronics, which issued unexpectedly weak quarterly earnings guidance in which it cited increasing competition from Chinese rivals that offer high-end models at cheaper prices.
Among the 80 million smartphones Huawei aims to ship this year, about 20 percent will be mid to high-end models, up from 16 percent in 2013, the company told Reuters earlier this year.
But industry observers said Huawei still faces strong headwinds in its effort to break into the premium handset market, a segment that Apple has continued to dominate.
Apple this month reported surprisingly strong smartphone sales in China, reaffirming the allure of the iPhone brand among China's well-to-do.
In China, Huawei said it shipped more than 20 million smart devices, including smartphones and tablets, in the first half.
Shao said Huawei has a long-term, stable partnership with China's three major carriers, which will give the company an advantage over foreign rivals such as Samsung and Apple in the world's largest smartphone market.
But he declined to reveal how many smartphones it shipped in China in the first half.
Huawei had a 4.7 percent share of the global smartphone market in the first quarter, a distant third behind Samsung Electronics with 30.8 percent and Apple with 15.2 percent, according to IDC.
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