2018 was a record-breaking year for Huawei’s consumer business group. In a turn of good news to end the year, the Chinese company confirmed that its worldwide smartphone shipments have passed 200 million units.
Huawei attributes this success to two major smartphone launches this year – the P20 series and Mate 20 series. It has also enjoyed the success of subsidiary brands such as Honor in the US.
In particular, Huawei has identified four key areas of its success in 2018.
Two premium smartphone lines
The year started strong with the launch of the P20 series in March, raising the bar in mobile photography. Not only did it introduce three cameras in a stunning design, but it sold a hell of a lot of them. The P20 series accounted for almost 10% of Huawei’s global shipments – a big number for a premium smartphone.
Fast forward six months, and Huawei launched the Mate 20 in October built on the company’s new Kirin 980 chipset. The Kirin 980 remains among the most powerful mobile chipsets available – it runs rings around Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 in benchmark tests. With three cameras, a strong design, and more functionality than you could shake a stick at, Huawei did well with the Mate 20 – most reviewers rated it among the best phones of 2018. In just two months, Huawei moved 5 million units.
This means Huawei’s two premium smartphone lines accounted for over 10% of its total shipments, and that’s big dollars.
A strong mid-range lineup
Huawei hasn’t forgotten those who don’t want to (or can’t afford to) spend big dollars on a smartphone. The company’s Nova line remains popular with younger users in particular, mixing bold design from premium lines with affordable quality. Combined, the Nova 3 and Nova 4 lines accounted for 65 million units (or 33% of all sales).
In the US, where Huawei doesn’t sell many of its own-branded devices, the Honor brand has continued to find success, and while the company hasn’t quoted numbers, the Honor brand ranks as China’s number one brand in Internet-based smartphones.
Facts and Figures
Since 2010, Huawei’s smartphone shipments have increased from 3 million to 200 million units. Once dismissed as an “other”, Huawei now has a global market share of around 15%, and is variously ranked second or third largest smartphone manufacturer.
Used by more than 500 million users in 170 countries, Huawei’s phones aren’t going anywhere. People associate the brand with innovation and daring to try new things, and in an era of homogeneous smartphones, that can only be a good thing.
Richard Yu, Huawei’s consumer business group CEO has said
Huawei will continue its focus on the core concept of ‘consumer-centric’, and will dare to keep innovating, and make every effort to become a pioneer and leader in the next wave of the smartphone revolution, as well as constantly create new value for consumers, let our consumers better enjoy their lives, and truly make Huawei a brand that is beloved by consumers the world over.
After 2018, it will be interesting to see how Huawei proceed in 2019. With two huge successes in the P20 and Mate 20 lines .. what will they do next year to double down?