Huawei Technologies Co. will boost smartphone shipments by a third this year and surpass 100 million units as the company makes a greater push to target high-end consumers and international markets.
Smartphone shipments will increase from 75 million last year, Shao Yang, vice president of marketing for the Consumer Business Group, said on a conference call Tuesday. The Shenzhen, China-based company plans to boost the portion of sales from high-end devices -- including the Mate 7, P7, or Honor 6 -- to more than 30 percent from 18 percent, he said.
Huawei is expanding its lineup of mobile devices priced above $300 to move away from competition with cheaper devices from fellow Chinese vendors Xiaomi Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. (992) Huawei sees consolidation in the smartphone industry and wants to move into the ranks of the world’s top suppliers alongside Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) and Apple Inc. (AAPL)
“We are giving up the low end of the market,” said Richard Yu, chief executive officer of Huawei’s consumer unit. “Many vendors are suffering. Only two vendors have had a good life: Apple and Samsung.”
Huawei ranked fifth in global smartphone shipments during the third quarter, with 5.1 percent share, according to researcher Strategy Analytics. It trailed Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi and LG Electronics Inc. (066570), respectively, Strategy Analytics reported in October.
“Over the last two to three years, and in 2014 in particular, we have seen Huawei make concerted efforts in the mid-range of the market,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, a Singapore-based analyst at International Data Corp. “Their flagship models, like Honor 6, have helped them achieve their ambition to move up the value chain.”
The portion of Huawei’s smartphone sales coming from international markets will rise to more than 60 percent this year from 52 percent last year, the company said in Tuesday’s statement.
Huawei’s smartphone sales may rise to $16 billion this year, from $12 billion last year, Yu said. Huawei plans to focus for now on organic growth rather than seeking to buy rival manufacturers, he said.
“Currently, we have no short-term acquisition plans,” Yu said. “In the future, that may be possible. In the short term, we are mainly focused on our own capability, building our own capability.”