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HOME OFFICE / INDUSTRY

Huawei To 'Ascend' As Mobile King? Reveals OZ Expansion

By Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 26/02/2013

It's a big goal but Huawei says it can 'Make it Possible' with plans to expand its retail partners in Oz this year


Ascend P2 - 'fastest phone in the world'
As it announced the "fastest smartphone in the world" this week, the Chinese giant is eyeing No. 3 place in the smartphone race, after kings Samsung and Apple.

Huawei, a relatively unknown name in the smartphone race grabbed headlines when it unveiled the "fastest smartphone in the world," the Ascend P2, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

"We have no local pricing information" Huawei Australia spokesperson Luke Coleman told SmartHouse, but we should hear more soon, he added.

In fact, Coleman "can't even say" if the P2, just announced, would even hit Oz and ditto for other devices recently announced D2 and Ascend Mate 'phablet'.

It also launched its global brand campaign 'Make it Possible' yesterday at WMC and says the ad campaign will encompass touch-points retail, online activities, and media activities.

Huawei smartphones are available on all main carriers--Telstra, Optus and Vodafone--but are mostly on pre pay with hardly any appearing in any of the telco prestigious post paid plans alongside the iPhone 5 and Samsung S III.

Huawei also has retail partners, including Dick Smith, JB Hifi, Woolworths, Coles, and Allphones - and is "hoping to expand our range of retail channel partners over the coming year" Coleman told SmartHouse.

Huawei does not disclose Australia or global sales but says two-thirds of its business is outside China.

The telecoms giant says it sold 125 million mobiles last year - 32 m were smartphones and its phone market share grew 60%.

It also shipped 50 million mobile broadband devices and 25 m home devices.

Recent IDC figures show Huawei was the third largest smartphone maker in Q4 for the first time outrunning smartphone (and Android) rival HTC, spurting a massive 89.5% to almost 11 million devices, with just under 5% share.

The Ascend maker also managed to make it into the top 5 mobile brands globally, elbowing LG, another brand looking to agressively grown its mobile business, out of its spot.

But Chinese phone brands are on the rise noted Ramon Llamas, IDC's analyst.

"The fact that Huawei and ZTE now find themselves among the Top 5 smartphone vendors marks a significant shift for the global market," noted Llamas.

Huawei has courted both the mass market says IDC, with its simple cheap smartphones and has shown its innovation with the high-end Ascend line - the P1 is the world's thinnest (6.68 mm) smartphone and the Ascend Mate is the first phone with a 6.1" screen.

It also has its own software innovations, including Magic Touch, Guiding Wizard, Smart Reading, and Floating Windows, the analysts note.

And it wants it to stay that way.

"Our ambition is to be the No. 3 phone maker maker in the world in the next three years," Coleman said.

Huawei, who is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, got a bad rap in Oz last year when it was banned from working on the NBN by the Federal government, over fear of spying by Chinese authorities which have links to the company.

"We're putting our attentions into our smartphone business" he added.

The P2 signifies a "major move" in the right direction, as does the D2 unveiled at CES and  the 6.1" Ascend Mate 'phablet' will also push Huawei Devices ahead, Coleman believes.

Read: The "Fastest Smartphone in the World" Is A Huawei

Huawei Devices has been working on a number of local marketing campaigns recently, sponsoring the popular skating competition at Bondi - the Bowl-a-rama, Coldplay gigs, and the 'Found Phones' campaign which uses Facebook to allow fans to find and keep Huawei phones

"As for 2013 - watch this space" Coleman said.

And we sure will.

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