Huawei CEO: the “Galaxy S4 is just a so-so smartphone”, we will be third by 2015

by: Robert TriggsJune 24, 2013

huawei logo [aa] (1)

Hot on the heels of the newly announced high-end Huawei Ascend P6 smartphone, Huawei’s CEO has outlined the company’s plans for the future, which turn out to be quite optimistic.The company’s CEO Richard Yu has revealed his intent to make Huawei the third largest mobile manufacturer in the world by 2015. A bold statement perhaps, but this comes from a company which recently fantasied about acquiring Nokia, so it’s not totally out of character.

Yu stated that the company would make its way into third by focusing on quality and innovation. The aim being to produce smartphones which are better than those of Samsung and Apple, whilst selling them at a lower price point. That certainly sounds like a great idea for them and for consumers, but we’ll have to wait and see how well that plan plays out.

But Richard Yu didn’t just talk about Hauwei’s future, he also shared some of his thoughts about Samsung and Apple. In fact, the company’s CEO was keen to rile up all of the current big players; calling Samsung out for producing plastic handsets which it pushes on consumers using a huge advertising budget, stating that Apple is loosing its grip on the smartphone industry, and even calling Google’s Android operating system too complicated for consumers. Cheeky stuff, but does Richard Yu have a fair point?

[quote qtext=”The best smartphone in the past was from Nokia, then from Apple, then from Samsung. And who is number one? The industry is so dynamic – no matter how successful you are, if you’re currently number one, doesn’t mean tomorrow you’ll be number one.

Samsung, they have such huge money – if you invest in marketing and branding then people will always buy no matter how good the products are. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is just a so-so smartphone…

In its latest update, Apple makes the phone extremely simple to use. But if we are just learning from them we can’t catch up, because they are now slipping. We want to go higher than them…

We have a good relationship with Google. We want Android to be more user friendly, so we have made a lot of enhancements. Google is good for an engineer but it’s not good for the consumer. It’s a little bit too complicated.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Those sound like some strong words coming from a much smaller company, and it’s a pretty bold challenge the industry’s big players, especially if you’re reading this in the West where Huawei isn’t exactly a household name. But the company has actually been doing quite well recently and third place isn’t out of reach.

Take a look back at some of the global smartphone figures, put together by Strategy Analytics and IDC, earlier in the year and you can see that Huawei is already sitting comfortably in fourth place, right behind its rival LG.

market share table q1 2013

The important point to note from this data is that Huawei has already surpassed big names like HTC, Nokia, and Sony recently, as the company is doing very well in the Chinese high-end smartphone market. The company managed to push itself into second place last quarter, selling 8.1 million smartphones in China. However this is a highly competitive market, with LG and ZTE competing fiercely for the spots behind the industries leaders, Samsung and Apple.

So whilst third place may be attainable, maintaining it will be a more difficult task. You can be sure that Huawei isn’t the only ambitious company eyeing that third place spot, and there are a lot of strong products already on the market from HTC, Sony, and other companies which are all equally poised to capitalize on any lull in Apple or Samsung’s dominance.

What do you make of Richard Yu’s comments; unfounded overconfidence, or a piece of justified optimism?

  • mumusen

    dude is on fire.. somebody ask him to relax. His company is on forth and these are the statements he is passing? wonder what will happen when (and IF) huwaei crossed all the giants of mobile industry?

  • john

    Nothing personal against Huawei, but they really need to stop embarrassing themselves. What? Just because you manufacture phones and is a fabless manufacture of few decent SoCs that you know everything?

    From my experience with Chinese Phones, Huawei isn’t even that amazing. Xiaomi got an edge in marketing, pricing, and the software. In fact, I would argue the only thing that is decent about Huawei phones are that their in-house SoC that is slightly faster than the MediaTek ones, but not by much.

    Just because you had a pretty profitable year, don’t think you know everything Huawei. Google knew what they were doing when they made Android, even when there were many other OSs and platforms with faster native codes.

    • APai

      huawei is a chinese company. they will forever be branded as a “chinese” phone. so, what better way to fight that tag off than indulging in some trash talk ? it will sound as patriotic to locals, and hey any pr is good pr for the rest!

      • On a Clear Day

        Given no one seems to be exceptionally impressed with them resorting to self-praise is perhaps their only alternative and way to deal with the collective sign of dis-interest on the part of most of the world. My father had a saying, “Self-praise stink.” Apparently the people at Huawei never got that memo.

        • APai

          funny thing is that they are nothing more than OEMs. neither do they create any world beating SoCs or CPUs or display system.

    • On a Clear Day

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Seems like every time you turn around the CEO of Huawei is claiming they are better than anyone else.

      Talk is cheap; actions speaks louder than words AND let’s not forget that in the land of Huawei if you say words that are not approved by the Communist party you get to go to jail for 10 or 12 years and work as slave labor – in the factories of Huawei perhaps? Wouldn’t surprise me if the Chinese did that.

      Maybe that’s why they can sell cheaper.

  • APai

    huawei ceo just did a crash course on trash talk

  • Soozoeka

    let’s all wait and see.

  • Grman Rodriguez

    My reaction

  • Sal

    I kind of agree with his first and third point. In the history of phones we had Nokia has the best then it lost to Blackberry by the 90’s (RIM) and they held onto that position until Apple released the Iphone in 2007 which was revolulionary and they were number one until Samsung took storm with their Galaxy S Series running android. Now Samsung is the top smartphone manufactuer currently… but how long will that last before another company takes strom and wins consumers hearts making samsung fall flat just as past number one smartphone makers in the past have gone through? Not saying it will happen soon casue I love samsung but you just gotta look at the history. and apple yes they may have made it simple but it just worked. But now ios 7 is a do or die for them and they are losing edge…

    But Mr. Yu saying android is too complicated?? Did apple secretly pay you to say that in your statement. Yes android takes time getting use to than other mobile os but then after a while it becomes a breeze plus you get to be playing around with it more because ot its personalization, customization and tweaking the size of your widgets and deciding what homescreen will you put your apps/widgets for. Will it be sports? Movies? Social media? You decide. It’s not complicated! It works far better and continues to keep innovative. So tired of hearing that from people. And the galaxy s4 is NOT a so so phone. the new iphone 5 is considered to be one but the s4. it is an AMAZING phone. maybe you should check your facts and do your research before you release a statement like this.

    • Anonymousfella

      Everybody seems to jump on “s4 is a mediocre phone” bandwagon.I have the exynos s4 and must say i’m pretty impressed by it.I dont need a radical redesign to convince myself i have a latest generation flagship as long as all functionality is covered and i am able to meet my requirements and then some.

  • alfreduran

    Hi! Well, this man, Richard Yu, has a overconfidence, no doubt! However, his words, doesn’t convince me! Everybody talk about Samsung, Apple, Motorola, HTC and LG but, Huawei…who?…who care? Best regards through my SGS3 GT I9300! ;)

  • Magnetic1

    This is like when Greg Anthony talked trash to Michael Jordan back in the day.
    Michael said “What have you done?”
    Greg Anthony played for the Knicks when there was a small rivalry with the DaBulls. Obviously he was just being competitive. And Michael being the market leader at the time, ok he was just the best ever it, said in translation:
    “you can’t be talking trash back to me, I’m the king of trash talking.”

  • nishantsirohi123

    Who knows huawei just might do this
    unlike HTC, (that have no presence elsewhere) huawei is a strong name in networking equipments and enterprise IT solutions
    So they can take bold steps and launch products that are different.
    something Samsung did with the original Note
    the other companies that can do this are LG, and perhaps Sony

    But unfortunately at least in India, they have barely any presence, we did see a few billboards of Huawei Honor last year but then nothing else
    Local brands like micromax, Karbonn and LAVA-XOLO(they made the first intel phone) are growing at a faster pace

    if huawei wants to play the value for money game, about time they entered developing market

  • simpleas

    Someone smash a piece of humble pie in this guy’s face. HuaWHO?

  • Ruzveh

    For claiming the third spot u need to acquire Nokia first.. hahaha

  • Rooney-

    Well richard , Get your comapnay in ‘BRANDS’ List before talking non sense! Even if you make a smartphone thats much better than SGS4, you wouldnt sell as much since no one knows your company!

  • hoggleboggle

    All very well but the long term winners will be those with the largest and smartest R&D budgets. There Huawei are dwarfed by Samsung and even apple, who prefer to send their money on lawyers.