Huawei shipped over 10 million units across Europe the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for the first time in a single quarter in Q3 2016. This accounted to 14% of smart phone shipments, just one percent behind Apple for the same period according to research from Canalys’ Smart Phone Analysis service.
The data shows that a significant proportion of Huawei device shipments are beyond the brand’s core low-end devices, with the 33% sequential increase from Q2 in Europe alone helped by mid-range and premium releases such as the Honor 8 and Huawei P9.
Describing their findings, Canalys summarised that Huawei are ‘now in a position to wrestle Apple for the number two spot in EMEA next year,’ with Ben Stanton, a research analyst at the consultancy group describing Huawei’s progress stating, ‘It used to focus on price-to-performance ratio. This was a good disruptive strategy at the time, which helped it exploit falling operator subsidies, and the shift toward open-market channels such as e-commerce. But it has now evolved to become a major smart phone brand and innovator in its own right. Huawei’s focus this year has been on premium design and branding, with a series of celebrity endorsement deals, as well as product partnerships with the likes of Leica and Porsche Design. It is clearly trying to break away from its past, and create a brand to rival Apple and Samsung.’
However, Stanton also pointed out issues for the manufacturer to overcome in the EMEA region and in general, stating, ‘Huawei is not perfect. It still has issues with specification overlap between different product lines, though it is certainly in a strong position to keep growing.’
For the UK specifically, Huawei’s European vice president of media affairs, Adam Mynott explained to Mobile, ‘At the moment our brand in the consumer area in the UK is very low, so there’s massive opportunity for growth and that’s beginning to happen. Compared to some other European markets such as Italy and Spain where brand awareness is much higher, we’ve got ground to make up, but we’ve had a very good performance thus far in the consumer division in the UK so we are confident we are heading in the right direction.’