Date
17 September 2019
Huawei is working hard to fend off US moves to ease it out of the market. Photo: Reuters
Huawei is working hard to fend off US moves to ease it out of the market. Photo: Reuters

Huawei bets on P30 series to boost market share amid US moves

In its trade conflict with China, the United States has been asking allies to ban Huawei Technologies from taking part in their efforts to introduce 5G technology into their telecommunications networks, alleging that the Chinese company could be used by Beijing for spying.

However, many countries are now realizing that they could not simply exclude Huawei from their list of possible 5G suppliers as the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker is a market leader, offering the latest technology and very competitive prices in the field.

While the US insists that Huawei poses a threat to their national security, many allies deem it in their best interests to give the Chinese firm a chance to prove itself as worthy of their trust and patronage.  

Amid all these concerns and suspicions, Huawei on Tuesday announced that it will unveil its new flagship smartphone, the P30 series, in Paris on March 26.

The company even posted a short video on social media demonstrating the zoom capability of its phone camera, which could be the main selling point of the new series.

As early as last year, a Huawei official revealed that the company would unveil a mobile device with a quad-camera setup equipped with 10x zoom in 2019, although it remains unclear whether the P30 would come with four cameras or just three – or if the 10x zoom capability is optical or digital. If the camera has a built-in 10x optical zoom feature, that would be a market first.

It appears that Huawei is trying hard to outdo itself, considering that its P20 Pro has scored high marks in camera quality and functionality from image quality rating firm DxOmark.

The new P30 series appears intent on making significant improvements to its predecessor in a bid to convince consumers to upgrade and buy the new phone.

Market watchers believe that a 10x optical zoom offering would be a market winner. And although Huawei has chosen not to announce any new smartphone product during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, they are betting this early that the P30 series could be one of the best-selling smartphones in the market in the first half.

The phone will face keen competition from Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S10 series, Sony’s Xperia XZ4, which is expected to offer a high megapixel camera, and Xiaomi’s Mi 9 smartphone, which will feature a 48-megapixel triple-camera system.

The P30 launch is also good news for Chinese workers. Chinese media reported that Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory under the Hon Hai Group is in the thick of post-Spring Festival recruitment as it aims to hire 50,000 people for the production of the P30 series and some other models.

Analysts say that with the Android camp’s inventory correction coming to an end, Huawei could report a 30 percent increase in smartphone shipments in 2019 from the previous year.

Amid this bright outlook, Huawei is also working hard to fend off US moves to ease it out of the market. The company needs to double its efforts in Europe, in particular, where its shipments have outperformed other markets.

Market researcher Canalys said Chinese smartphones accounted for 32 percent of the European smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2018 with Huawei taking 23.6 percent. However, Samsung is still the market leader with 28.7 percent, followed by Apple with 26 percent.

Huawei is gearing up to overtake Apple’s iPhone as the world’s second largest smartphone maker in the world this year, which it already did in the third quarter last year, based on data from Counterpoint Research.

According to the latest industry estimates from research firm IDC, Samsung was the top smartphone vendor in the global market in the fourth quarter with an 18.7 percent share, followed closely by Apple with 18.2 percent. But while Huawei was No. 3 with a 16.1 percent share, that represented a 43.9 percent year-on-year increase, compared with Samsung’s 5.5 percent decline and Apple’s 11.5 percent fall.

Overall smartphone shipments are expected to grow 2.6 percent this year after falling by 3 percent to 1.42 billion units in 2018 from 1.47 billion in 2017, IDC figures show.

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CG

EJ Insight writer