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HUAWEI shipped 153 million smartphones in 2017, but revenue growth is slowing

HUAWEI CEO Ken Hu confirms that company revenue rose by 15 percent to 600 billion yuan, but profits are still modest. That could all change in 2018.

Published onDecember 29, 2017

The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro.
  • CEO Ken Hu confirms that HUAWEI shipped 153 million smartphones in 2017
  • Revenue rose by 15 percent to 600 billion yuan, but growth is down to its lowest rate since 2013
  • Can a push into the US market boost HUAWEI’s profits?

We’ve known for a while now that HUAWEI shipped a mammoth quantity of smartphones this past year. Now, thanks to an end of year message shared by current CEO, Ken Hu, we know that the global shipments figure is around a whopping 153 million, with company revenue rising by 15 percent to 600 billion yuan in 2017.

As reported by Bloomberg, however, this is actually the lowest growth rate HUAWEI has experienced in four years. Meanwhile, despite retaining third place and surpassing 10 percent in global market share, the Chinese OEM is still expected to post minimal profit growth for the past year.

Huawei’s overall strategy of selling top-spec Android phones under a modest pricing structure, alongside high price-performance ratio mid-tier devices, has served it incredibly well up until now, with the Shenzhen-based manufacturer even passing Apple in market share several times in recent quarters.

Video: Best of Android 2017 – the phone of the year is...

It’s no secret that HUAWEI has its sights on the top spot, though. Toppling Samsung’s huge lead will be no easy feat. It’ll certainly be a costly endeavor too as it looks to break into the all-important US market where it will be able to sell elite flagship devices with much higher price tags.

Huawei’s Richard Yu recently confirmed that the Mate 10 would make its way to U.S. carriers in 2018 and, should we believe recent reports, it seems likely that AT&T will be involved in the rollout.

Any potential carrier deal will help raise brand awareness on a wider scale by bringing HUAWEI to retail stores, but beating Apple and Samsung in the long-term will still require a colossal marketing push.

It’s telling that I recently saw a HUAWEI commercial play at the cinema over here in the UK. That’s the first HUAWEI (video) advert I’ve seen over here even though smartphones baring the HUAWEI and HONOR (it’s sub-brand) name have been available in the UK for several years now. The US is a much bigger proposition, of course, and I can’t imagine HUAWEI will adopt a similarly slow-and-steady approach for such a key market.

Meanwhile, HUAWEI is also fending off tough competition in its native region, with OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi nipping at its heels for Chinese market share dominance.

It’ll certainly be interesting to watch HUAWEI’s movements in the coming months with all of this in mind. While it dabbled with the US market with the Mate 9 (via Amazon), HUAWEI is expected to go all-in at CES 2018 with the Mate 10.

All eyes will be on the third-largest smartphone company in the world in Las Vegas in just a few weeks, and Android Authority will be there to bring you all of the announcements as they happen.

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