2015 was a great year for Huawei and the Chinese firm has bigger things in store for 2016. With plans to overtake Apple and becoming the second biggest smartphone vendor in the world within two years, Huawei stepped up its game by entering the lucrative US market.
In terms of numbers, Huawei became the first Chinese brand to ship more than 100 million smartphones last year compared to 78 million shipped units in 2014. The consumer business group enjoyed a spectacular growth of 70% in revenues translating to $20 billion, Huawei's head of consumer business group, Richard Yu, said during CES 2016 conference on Tuesday.
Huawei currently ranks third in the smartphone market after Samsung and Apple with a 7.5% share. Samsung tops the charts with 23.8% and Apple follows the lead with 13.5% share in the smartphone market, as per third quarter market analysis by IDC.
In order to fulfill its ambition to stand second in the smartphone market, Huawei has stepped up its game on the global front. It also marked its US debut with a slew of new products.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016, Huawei launched a series of new products to establish itself as a premium brand. The Chinese company announced its Mate 8 flagship smartphone in 30 countries across Europe, Middle East, South Africa but not in the US. However, Huawei released a new GX 8 smartphone for the US market to fill the void.
In an interview with IBT, Yu said the high-end flagship device will make its way to the US market but remained sceptical about gaining enough traction due to the company's national security concerns. On the other hand, Huawei launched its new 10-inch MediaPad M2 tablet and two new variants of Huawei Watch called the Elegant and Jewel. Both the devices are expected to go on sale in the US in the first quarter of this year.
Following the success of Nexus 6P, Huawei launched a new gold variant in the US, which might help the company set up a stronger base in the premium smartphone market and establish relations with carriers.
Huawei Mate 8 is the company's flagship smartphone that was originally launched in China last month. The handset packs high-end specs for greater performance. The Mate 8 is powered by company's homegrown Huawei Kirin 950 processor, 3GB/ 4GB RAM and 32GB/ 64GB storage. The handset has a 6-inch Full HD display, 16MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture, OIS, dual tone flash, PDAF, and 8MP front snapper.
One of the main highlights of the Mate 8 is its 4,000mAh battery, which promises 2.65 days with average use and 1.65 days with heavy usage. The phone is equipped with Rapid Charge tech that can run for a full day with just 30 minutes of charge. Huawei Mate 8 is priced â‚¬699 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant and â‚¬599 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage model.
For the concerned U.S. shoppers, Huawei GX8 features toned down specs than the Mate 8. It has a 5.5-inch display, aluminium unibody, fingerprint scanner and a 3,000mAh battery. The handset will be available in the U.S. for $349.99 in the first quarter of 2016, BGR reported.
Huawei's MediaPad M2 tablet has a 10.1 inch Full HD screen, full metal body, 2GB RAM with 16GB storage or 3GB RAM with 64GB storage and a stylus. The tablet's availability has been reserved for Q1 2016.