Huawei is probably going to continue having a strong 2013 after they’ve already had a strong 2012, when they started showing some pretty high quality devices meant to compete with Samsung and others. Although they still have a ways to go, their phones at the low-end, and now at the mid to high-end are starting to become very desirable, especially if the prices are significantly smaller than those of the competitors.
Some people still put the brand name first, and it’s true that Huawei still needs to work on that, as it wasn’t too long ago since they were just a “Chinese manufacturer” making cheap low-end devices. But if they keep running their ads, show consistent quality in their devices, and manage to keep their current customers very satisfied, there’s no reason why it couldn’t become a strong top competitor.
In terms of smartphone volume, it’s already one of the biggest companies, because their phones are popular on the Asian and African continents, where they can ship a much higher volume of low-end devices. But they are increasingly eyeing the middle and high-end of the smartphone market.
One of their upcoming mid to high-end devices is the Huawei Ascend 710. The phone’s specs seem to be a quad core 1.5 Ghz processor, a 5″ screen and a 720p resolution. The phone will have a “metal-looking” casing, which just means that it’s plastic, but with a brushed metal paint on it. I was hoping this kind of “design” choices would disappear from the market, as I find them pretty tacky.
One way for Huawei to start being seen as a premium brand is to actually start making premium metal-body phones, instead of phones that look like they have metal bodies, but they don’t. Of course, this can also be said about Samsung, which seems to be about the only one of the top manufacturers that is still making regular plastic smartphones. Huawei could take advantage of this situation, and start making metal phones like HTC even before Samsung does it, considering how they’re eyeing to one day make better devices than Samsung. Either way, it will be interesting to see their evolution in their next few years.