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Huawei aims to be top cellphone brand in three years

updated 07:50 am EST, Wed March 7, 2012

Huawei guns for lead spot in phones

Huawei's device chairman Richard Yu in an interview set out high ambitions for the company. In a chat with Engadget, the executive wanted the Chinese cellphone designer to be the "industry's top brand" in three years. To him, it was less a matter of ambition and more basic survival, as companies that didn't aim to be large risked disappearing entirely.

"I have a strong feeling that the industry is consolidating," Yu said. "Seven years ago, the telecommunication industry had many suppliers but now they're all consolidating, one by one they're combining or dying. The mobile phone industry, I strongly believe, will become a matter of survive or die."

He noted the disproportionate level of profit from companies focusing on smartphones. Over 70 percent of the profit came from the biggest companies, he said, alluding to Apple's dominance of phone profits. Samsung by itself was 20 percent. Aiming for the top entered that group and prevented a vicious circle where smaller companies couldn't afford to research high-end devices and wouldn't get the profit they needed to invest in themselves.

For Huawei, this meant both escaping its roots as an ODM (original design manufacturer), building devices to be rebranded by others, and targeting the high end. Devices like the Ascend D quad had to be the "best in class" not just to sell well, but to redefine Huawei's image. "In this industry, nobody remembers number two, just number one," Yu explained.

Huawei is still significantly smaller than many of its peers. It may have a potential role model in HTC, which while currently struggling made a leap from no-name contractor to the second-largest Android manufacturer and one of the top positions in smartphones as a whole.

By Electronista Staff


  1. global.philosopher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Not sure how you become top brand..

    When your handsets look exactly the same as all the others.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    And I aim to...

    ... marry a hot 6ft tall blonde within the next three years. You must have goals. I applaud HTC for that.

    And now back to reality.


    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009


    Steal from Apple this time?

    So they stole technology from Cisco earlier and now they plan on stealing more US technology? This is what happens when we (i.e. the US) outsource everything out to China and India. They steal our technology and compete against us.

    Pretty soon we will have no technology left since the latest "profit enhancing" trend is to outsource R&D. I say we have great business leaders in this country.

  1. Fonejacker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    How do you.....

    How do you pronounce Huawei? This is enough for me not to buy their products. Not as though you can distinguish between their products and someone else's. All smartphones look the same, bar one or two different manufacturers.

  1. space-e

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2000


    He will do it -

    Huawei will be the largest company of it's size in the world...

  1. thesearcher

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Mar 2002


    And I aim to...

    What's he supposed to say? "Well gee, we aim to be the bottom of the industry in three years."

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