Huawei thinks it can beat Samsung and Apple to lead global smartphone shipments this year

Despite Huawei’s own optimistic 2019 market outlook, industry analyst said the company is facing an uphill battle.

Image credit to Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr.

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei aims to top global smartphone shipments this year, said its consumer business group CEO Richard Yu on Thursday in Shanghai. It would have to beat Samsung and Apple who are still leading the pack in terms of global shipments.

“Our global smartphone shipments this year will be between 250 million and 260 million, ranking world No.1,” Yu told attendants at the company’s annual HiLink Ecology Conference. He said Huawei would focus more on the mid-range and high-end market.

Despite Huawei’s own optimistic outlook, Liu Ruofei, a telecoms analyst at CCID Consulting in Beijing told KrASIA that the company is facing an uphill battle albeit “not entirely impossible”.

While Huawei has a competitive edge in the lower end market because of its high-cost performance, its relatively low brand awareness globally make it very difficult for Huawei to steal market share from Apple and Samsung in the high-end market, Liu said.

“The impact of the Sino-US trade friction could drive up the cost of chip procurement for Huawei, which could become an uncertainty affecting Huawei’s smartphone sales,” he said.

Huawei ranked third in global smartphone shipments last year, after Samsung and Apple. The Chinese smartphone brand has shipped over 206 million units in 2018 with 33.6% growth from the previous year, according to IDC.