Last night, we told you about Huawei making the tough decision to pull their networking group out of the US market. With all the spying innuendo and overall tough environment that is the Us market, Huawei felt they would be best served to concentrate their efforts outside of the United States. Although it represents a 30% worldwide market share, the landscape was just not one Huawei felt they could successfully negotiate.
Sad, too, as that metallic mystery device of theirs seemed pretty cool. As they move into a more focused environment in the rest of the world, we’re left to wonder just how they’ll navigate those waters. The US may be tough, but other markets are no cake walk. Huawei better have a plan.
Over time, Huawei has transformed themselves from a manufacturer of devices others brand, to one that releases their own devices. That transformation wasn’t often met with open arms, as some carriers turned their back to Huawei. Over time, mostly through great devices, Huawei climbed back into their good graces. Now, standing on their own two feet, Huawei is set to stake their claim to a world outside of the US. While solid hardware will gain you the admiration of users, the first step is to get those users. That’s done via marketing, which presents its own unique set of challenges for Huawei.
How do you set yourself apart in a world full of popular, excellent devices? Through marketing. While Huawei can’t spend the billions other companies do on such marketing, they can get the word out.
Making people aware of their brands via digital and direct marketing is paying off. Huawei is reporting a ten-fold increase on shipped devices to Western Europe this year, welcome news after losing 90% of your smartphone business partners in Europe the prior year. Carriers in Europe are perhaps looking for an alternative to the three or four manufacturers that dominate the landscape, and Huawei is right there for them with great devices. Now that people are aware, and carriers willing to do business with them again, perhaps Huawei’s plans for a Western European rebirth are on track.
Of course, Europe isn’t the whole story. Huawei has made an effort to focus on the entire world outside of the US, and while Europe is definitely important, they have a unique opportunity to be in on the ground floor of something much bigger.
Huawei is a Chinese company, and Asia is a blossoming market for mobile devices. Unlike other manufacturers in the region, Huawei has already made the jump from an original design manufacturer (ODM) to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This gives them some brand recognition, and an immediate presence. Carriers should have no issue in doing business with them, either, as a proven track record in Europe and beyond will go a long way.
China, in particular, has the largest potential for growth. With (literally) billions of potential smartphone users, that country alone represents a massive opportunity for Huawei. The only major obstacle will be Samsung, which is working on their own wrench to toss into Huawei’s plans.
As Samsung continues to work on Tizen, their mobile platform concentrated in the Asian market, everyone else waits curiously. Will it be available for others to use, or will Samsung strong-arm the market into compliance with their devices? Time will tell, but if Tizen can be loaded onto a Huawei device, they’ll have another avenue for success. It seems that life outside the four major US carriers isn’t so terrible after all.
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