China's Huawei Technologies is the largest telecommunications equipment maker and service corporations in the world and was the third biggest smartphone manufacturer last year. This was made possible through their sales of mid-range handsets in what is becoming the fastest-growing domestic market of China – that and the increasing number of the price-conscious customers in Western Europe. However, a Huawei executive in the consumer division is interested in getting a foothold in the profitable market of the U.S., not so much because the U.S. needs more mid-range to high-end smartphones, but for worldwide name recognition and that will open even more doors for the China company.
Huawei has had trouble gaining a foothold in the profitable high-end markets, including the U.S. because of lawmakers' accusations that the Chinese telecommunications equipment is being used for spying and is a security risk. Executives have also acknowledged that their name is hard to pronounce or even to remember how it is spelled – easy brand recognition is so important for customers to accept the company and not dismiss them because they cannot say the name. Giles, the executive vice president of Huawei's consumer business group, told Reuters: "We recognize that the U.S. is a very competitive and very tough market for us. Recently there has been quite some change in the U.S. in terms of the whole subsidy landscape, and so that provides a new opportunity for players like us to come with a slightly different distribution strategy than what we used to have."
Huawei only accounted for 3-percent of all phones sold in the U.S. in the 3Q 2013, trailing Apple's 36.2-percent and Samsung's 32.5-percent according to data compiled by IDC. Normally the carriers buy phones in bulk from the manufacturers and offer them up for little to nothing as an incentive to woo new customers to their network, however, T-Mobile broke that mold when they lowered costs and signed up many frustrated customers from other networks. Giles said they would be increasing spending in the area of advertising and marketing in hopes of raising its brand recognition. This extra spending takes different forms based on the country – Huawei is spending money on sponsoring soccer teams in Europe, rugby teams in New Zealand, and in the U.S., they are sponsoring movies. Today they announced a new mobile hotspot, two new tablets to compete directly with the mini iPad, and a new smartphone targeted for the 18 to 30-year-old market. They also introduced a new wearable fitness tracking device called the TalkBand. Please let us know on our Google+ Page if you are familiar with Huawei products and if you are looking forward to their arrival in the U.S.