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May 29, 2017

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Huawei hopes to double sales of smartphones in ROC in '14

TAIPEI--China's Huawei Technologies Co. (華為), the world's third biggest smartphone manufacturer, launched a 4G LTE-enabled handset in Taipei recently as part of its aim to double sales in Taiwan over 2014.

The Ascend P7 comes in at a razor-thin 6.5 millimeters but features 5-inch full-HD display, a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in memory, a 13 megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera.

The device will hit stores of local carrier Chunghwa Telecom Co. (中華電信) on July 1 with pricing starting from NT$16,900 (US$564) — comparable to the Find 7 launched last week by another Chinese phone maker, OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp.

Huawei also launched the MediaPad X1 7.0 — a 7-inch tablet with 4G LTE support — for the local market on that same day and said it hopes to boost tablet sales in Taiwan to 60,000 units this year from last year's 50,000.

In addition to its flagship Ascend series, Huawei also plans to introduce more models from its lower-end Honor line during the second half of this year to target price-sensitive Taiwanese consumers, said Vincent Hsu, sales vice president of device business at Xunwei Technologies Co., Huawei's exclusive sales agent in Taiwan.

Huawei is banking on the new products to double sales of its smartphones to 200,000 units and expand local market share to 3 percent from last year's 2 percent.

"It is a challenging target, in my view," admitted Hsu, citing a shrinking high-end segment in Taiwan's smartphone market. "But how we realize the goal will depend on what approaches we will take. We have planned a lot of measures to spur sales."

Hsu said the Chinese company intends to expand the number of its distributors in Taiwan from the current 71 to 150 by the end of the year while deepening sales partnerships with telecom operators and retailers.

According to research firm IDC, Huawei took a 4.9 percent share of the global smartphone market in the first quarter of 2014 on shipments of 13.7 million units. But it remained a distant third behind Samsung Electronics Co. (30.2 percent) and Apple Inc. (15.5 percent).

Huawei's aim for 2014 is to ship 80 million smartphones worldwide, an effort likely to be supported by its focus on large-screen devices, IDC said.

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