Huawei edges close to Apple, Samsung

Updated: 2015-09-07 15:44

By Gao Yuan(China Daily USA)

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 Huawei edges close to Apple, Samsung

Richard Yu, head of consumer businesses at Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, presents its new smartphone, Mate S, ahead of the IFA electronics show in Berlin on Wednesday. The flagship phone is priced at $780.  Reuters / Hannibal Hanschke

Company's latest smartphone offering plans to take on competition with innovative features

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has inched close to Apple Inc in the high-end smartphone market - at least in terms of pricing.

Huawei's latest $780 flagship smartphone, Mate S, is the most expensive handset the Chinese tech giant has yet produced and is set to compete with the next-generation iPhone that Apple plans to reveal next week.

The company's previous flagships were priced in the $500-$650 price range. The lowest retail price for the iPhone 6 Plus, also a pamphlet, is about $750.

Richard Yu, head of Huawei's consumer businesses, said the Mate S deserves its price tag and will put pressure on Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

"Samsung is facing great downward pressure and Apple seems to have hit a ceiling in innovation. It is the right time for Huawei to be on the offensive," Yu said at a product launch event in Berlin on Thursday.

Huawei is increasingly becoming a threat to Apple and Samsung after it notched up the highest sales growth rate of 46.3 percent in the second quarter, thanks to strong overseas sales and 4G smartphone sales in China.

By June, Huawei was the largest local handset vendor in China, the world's biggest smartphone market, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

But its 7.8 percent market share lags far behind Apple and Samsung, which took more than a third of the total shipments.

Huawei is striving to put on market more higher-end devices with fancy features so that it can edge out the two overseas giants someday.

In Mate S, the Shenzhen-based company has incorporated a 5.5-inch high-definition display, fingerprint security and the Force Touch display technology which allows the handset to tell the difference between a tap and a hard press on the screen.

Apple is also likely to use a similar technology for its new iPhone model, as the US company is in desperate need of innovative breakthroughs to boost sales. The model is expected to make an appearance during the company's annual product release on Sept 9 in San Francisco.

"The phone redefines how we incorporate touch technology into our smartphones, taking a revolutionary approach to touch-screen control and ushering in a new era for human-machine interaction," Yu said.

Xiang Ligang, an independent smartphone analyst and founder of telecom website, said Huawei hopes more female buyers will be attracted by the new model's elegant design and cool features.

"It is a good attempt for Huawei to bond technology with elegance and fashion as it walks into the premium market," Xiang said.

The Mate S will be available on the Chinese market later this month, according to Huawei. The retail price in its home market could be slightly cheaper than in Europe and the United States, based on previous practice.

 (China Daily USA 09/07/2015 page16)