Now, however, the Chinese company has risen to become the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer and has set its sights on 80 million handset sales in 2014.
He added: “After years of investment in the smartphone area, we are more and more confident that we can achieve a greater market share in 2014.”
Detailing how the company has grown from these original knock backs, Huang stated: “Three years ago when we stepped in to the smartphone market, nobody at the partners believed Huawei could deliver the best smartphone experience to consumers.”
The Huawei Director added: “In the feature phone era, there were a lot of European operators that realised they needed to use Samsung to compete with the iPhone. They saw that as the one manufacturer who could spend a lot of money in brand building would find it easier to sell in the smartphone market.
“After years of trying, we delivered the P1. At the time partner feedback was good and consumer feedback was good but, to be honest with you, sales were not.”
Although Huawei has struggled to gain traction with both sellers and consumers, 2013 saw the Huawei Ascend P6 land as a metal bodied handset which took the mantle of the ‘world’s slimmest smartphone’.
As a result, the ZTE, HTC and Nokia rival has risen to be behind only Samsung and Apple in the smartphone production stakes, with consumers and networks both now giving more time to the company.
“Last year we had the P2 and the Mate and, with the Mate especially, sales results have been quite good,” Huang said.
“A lot of operators who had refused Huawei came back to us last year and asked us to buy our stocks. It has given us more confidence.”
He added: “We have years of learning and our partners have seen Huawei improving a lot.”
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