Is Huawei challenging Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market?

Huawei has made a statement to the other smartphone market leaders with the launch of it's AI-driven P20 series.

‘The mobile phone is on the verge of an experience revolution,’ Shao Yang, president of strategy marketing at Huawei’s consumer business group, explained to a group of journalists on a press trip to Shenzhen last month.

Augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence are driving this impending change, which will see a convergence of the real and digital worlds.

>See also: Shenzhen, China: The next Silicon Valley?

From hardware to software, integration of technologies like AI are needed to create a personalised mobile experience for the more demanding user. This ‘smart experience’, explains Yang, is essential in remaining competitive in the mobile landscape. And Huawei hopes its use of AI in its mobile phones will help the company challenge the world’s smartphone leaders, Apple and Samsung.

As the technology’s use is in a fairly early stage, it’s an incredibly competitive space, but it has an important role in the future of devices – from personal assistants to AI-enabled camera technology – in which Huawei triumphs.

Information world

The relationship between people and their mobile phones has come on leaps and bounds over the last 15 years. Communication is now one of the many uses the mobile offers as technology advances.

>See also: Huawei commits £3BN over five years to the UK’s tech industry

The terminal industry has entered an era of innovation, and companies like Huawei are at the centre of merging traditional supply chain and cutting edge tech within the new type of mobile. Collaboration between the two is crucial to market growth – and is achieved in the launch of the much-anticipated Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro.

Catching up through innovation

“When you ship over 150 million smartphones a year, your days of being described as a challenger are numbered,” explained Dominic Sunnebo, global director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “So while Huawei’s ambitions to surpass Apple and Samsung might seem bold, its heavy investment in research and development suggests there’s real depth to what it wants to achieve.”

“The P20 series could demonstrate the fruits of Huawei’s labour. The continued partnership with Leica will deliver not only real photographic innovation, but also lend some much-needed brand recognition to Huawei in markets where it is less well known, like the UK.”

The mobile revolution

The new smartphone features the world’s first Leica triple camera and both devices include unprecedented AI advances, combining technology and art to bring to life a groundbreaking smartphone experience.

>See also: Are digital voice assistants replacing smartphones?

The China-based enterprise set new expectations for smartphone photography with the launch of the Huawei P9, the first Leica dual camera. The debut of the P20 Series now makes capturing professional quality images a truly effortless experience for everyone.

“We look for inspiration from artists to continuously evolve our approach to design and innovation,” said Richard Yu, chief executive officer, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The HUAWEI P20 Series builds on the legacy of our collaboration with Leica. With a breakthrough triple camera on the HUAWEI P20 Pro, an advanced dual camera on the HUAWEI P20, and powerful artificial intelligence on both, today’s most vibrant consumers can capture and share the brilliance of the world around them.”

Huawei vs Samsung and Apple

Huawei’s lofty ambitions in the smartphone market – evident by the launch of its P20 series – suggests the company wants to challenge Samsung and Apple. However, it needs to find a balance when pricing its models.

>See also: Can Samsung beat Apple for that number 1 spot?

“Given the splash that Samsung and Apple made with the S9 and iPhone X, Huawei will be looking to deliver a product that can hold its own among this top tier,” explained Sunnebo.

“The P20 series appears to be replicating some of the design attributes of Apple’s latest releases, such as the screen notch, though with a stream of Chinese manufacturers already copying this feature Huawei shouldn’t really need or want to follow suit.”

Finding the right price

“The P20 series is likely to be a highly attractive proposition for consumers around the world, though as Huawei fights for a return on investment from its research and development, significantly undercutting its two closest competitors is no longer an option. As smartphone innovation has slowed in recent years it can no longer be relied upon to attract customers. This means brands are increasingly focused on premiumisation and the higher margins this brings as a way to make up for lower volumes.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...