Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies is positioning its new flagship Huawei smartphone, the P9, to compete with Apple and Samsung.
After pulling out of the US market for network switching gear four years ago because of security fears, Huawei became the No. 3 global smartphone seller last year, surpassing Apple in China.
“China has yet to create a high-end consumer brand, and we want to take that goal on to our shoulders,” says Eric Xu, one of Huawei’s three rotating co-CEOs.
To meet its sales growth target of 30 per cent a year, Huawei will have to increase its US market share to double digits from less than 2 per cent now. “We’re definitely very patient with the US market,” says communications president Joy Tan.
Meanwhile, the company is preparing a global marketing campaign for the P9 featuring Hollywood stars Henry Cavill and Scarlett Johansson. For markets from Bangladesh to Mexico it has recruited pop singers and football teams.
Huawei, which partnered with German imaging company Leica to develop the camera on the P9, had a profit of $5.7 billion last year. While it had just a quarter of Apple’s sales, Huawei spent $9 billion on research and development compared to Apple’s $8.1 billion.