SWKS: Huawei ships 108M phones in 2015


Fears about iPhone sales being lower than expected. Could it be that people are buying other phones instead? SWKS gets paid either way if that is the case. I find it hard to believe that people would not upgrade phones. As an example, I am noticing that my iPhone 5S seems slower and I think I will need to upgrade when the next model comes out in the Spring.

LAS VEGAS—Huawei Technologies Co. boasted of dramatic gains in the global smartphone market as it launched a new flagship handset that signals its ambitions in the lucrative U.S. market.

The Chinese company’s telecom networking equipment for carriers, such as routers and switches, has effectively been banned in the U.S. because of national security concerns. But Huawei’s other businesses such as consumer products like smartphones aren’t blocked at all.

Company executives attribute Huawei’s fast growth to its investing in research and development and building many of its own components, rather than the quicker approach preferred by many Chinese smartphone vendors, who sell phones assembled from components sold by third-party companies.

Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, which consists mainly of mobile phones, said at a launch event for its new smartphone that the company’s consumer business sales grew by nearly 70% last year to more than $20 billion, as it shipped 108 million smartphones—a 44% increase from the 78 million that it shipped in the prior year.

Mr. Yu also cited data from research firm GfK that gives Huawei a 9.7% share of the global smartphone market in September, enough to put it in third place, behind Samsung Electronics Co.’s 28.3% and Apple Inc.’s 11.8%.

“A few years ago, nobody knew Huawei,” Mr. Yu said at a media event held Tuesday on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The sales figure, which was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal, came as Huawei introduced its new flagship smartphone, the Mate 8, to consumers in the U.S., where the Shenzhen-based company will take aim at Samsung and other Android phone makers.

The Mate 8 is a premium smartphone, priced at €599 ($644) for the base model.

Huawei, tapping into its long experience in telecom networking equipment, attempted to position the smartphone as a business tool, with teleconferencing capabilities and connectivity features that allow the phones to be compatible with many carriers spanning a number of geographies.

Huawei played up its ties with Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit, touting its smartwatch’s use of Google’s Android Wear operating system. Huawei executives also showed off the Nexus handset that it released last year in collaboration with Google, giving away the units in grab bags to reporters and guests at the media event on Tuesday.

In an interview, Glory Zhang, chief marketing officer for Huawei’s consumer business group, said that Huawei’s phones are selling particularly well in Western Europe, where it is the No. 2 smartphone vendor in Italy and Spain.

According to research firm IDC, in the third quarter Huawei was second behind Samsung in Spain and third in Italy behind Samsung and Apple.

Huawei has devoted attention to Western Europe, setting up a design center in Paris, in a bid to draw on what it calls the region’s classical aesthetic.

Ms. Zhang said that Huawei is “definitely” making a play for a higher end of the market than in the past, though she declined to detail how its sales of high-end phones compare with those of lower-price models.

“The higher- and middle-end of handsets will compose a bigger percentage of revenue,” she said. “We’ve just started.”

Ms. Zhang also touted the company’s research and development of its own application processors, which she said represented an investment of $100 million.

“For so many other companies, they don’t invest in R&D,” Ms. Zhang said. “You can buy the components anywhere, and so many companies do that, but we never do that. We care about our innovations.”

Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Technology Market Research who attended the launch event, said that the new device would likely give the Chinese company a boost against incumbent Android handset makers like Samsung, pointing to the device’s ability to be sold “unlocked”—that is, able to work with any carrier—and design features that he described as more attractive than Samsung’s.

“It will take time, and it won’t immediately capture even 2% or 3% of the market, but this is a good start for them,” Mr. Shah said.


any idea if Skyworks is a supplier to Huawei? the article claims one of the differences between Huawei and it’s completion is that it makes a lot of the components in its phone instead of using 3rd party suppliers.

phoenixseangels: any idea if Skyworks is a supplier to Huawei?

Yes, since 2006.