Huawei wants one in four in Hong Kong to choose its phones

January 23, 2019 13:57
Attendees pass by a Huawei booth during the CES trade show in Las Vegas earlier this month. The Chinese firm has boosted its smartphone business significantly last year despite facing many challenges. Photo: Reuters

It is somewhat perplexing, but definitely worth paying attention, as we hear claims that China's Huawei may be selling one in every five mobile phones purchased in Hong Kong.

That is right! The mainland tech giant is said to have scored a remarkable success in its smartphone business last year even as it confronted a host of troubles overseas, including the arrest of its founder's daughter and CFO, getting shut out from 5G networks, allegations of links with the Chinese government, etc.

After announcing last month that its annual global shipments topped the 200 million unit mark for the first time, Huawei is now boasting that it has doubled its market share in Hong Kong. 

Speaking at a product event in Hong Kong this week, Andy Ho Hung-leuk, Greater China vice-president for Huawei's consumer group, said his firm's share in the Hong Kong smartphone market rose to 20 percent last year from 10 percent in 2017, thanks to a 93 percent surge in sales volume. 

Huawei's record global unit shipments last year, which helped the firm overtake Apple and propelled it to the world No.2 spot behind Samsung, came amid strong performance of its flagship P20 and Mate 20 handset series as well as good response for its Honor 10 range. 

The Shenzhen-based group, despite all the challenges it is facing in the West, has emerged as the entity to watch in the smartphone industry as it seeks to close in on the global leader Samsung.

A key element in the strategy to boost the market share further is launch of new devices with advanced features, with the latest being the Nova 4.

On Tuesday, Huawei unveiled the new handset in Hong Kong, showing off a "hole-punch" display that houses a selfie camera.

The gadget, priced at HK$3.688, is expected to notch sales of 100,000 units in the local market this year, according to company executives.

That means the model will alone take almost 3 percent of the Hong Kong market, estimated to be worth about 3.5 million units.

According to Ho, Huawei wants to enhance its market share in Hong Kong to 24 percent this year. That means one in four people opting for the Chinese premium brand.

Given the Mate 20 series, which I think is very comparable, if not better, than the iPhone XS and XR series, and the other new launches, Huawei could definitely make further gains in the city.

I believe Hong Kong's mobile landscape had been split up almost equally between iOS and Android devices.

Now, if Huawei wants to see one in four Hongkongers using its phones, it means the firm wants half of the Android market for itself, taking away share from foreign brands such as Samsung and Nokia as well as Chinese rivals Xioami, Oppo and Vivo.

Sounds impossible?

If you ask me, Huawei may find this particular task easier to achieve than getting its princeling lady CFO out from North America this year. Wanna bet?

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EJ Insight writer