Between making some big global marketing moves, pushing the Honor lineup hard, and releasing great flagships like the Nexus 6P, Mate 8, and P9, Huawei didn’t exactly get to their current spot as the world’s third biggest smartphone maker by sitting on their haunches. Moving up in the dog-eat-dog smartphone business doesn’t exactly happen by accident, and Huawei is well aware of this. Being no strangers to getting their hands dirty, they’re planning on rolling up their sleeves to make another big global move. They plan to keep the momentum going this year by opening up about 15,000 new retail locations around the world as part of their quest to get their total smartphone sales for 2016 over the 140 million mark.
Fresh off of a Q2 report that showed a 25 percent year on year increase to over 60 million smartphone sales for the quarter, Huawei is “optimistic and confident” that they can hit their goal for the year, according to consumer business chief executive Richard Yu Chengdong. The global telecoms giant currently has about 35,000 stores worldwide, including outfits like mall kiosks and accessory stores run by carriers and other third parties. 11,000 of those stores are in mainland China, with a number of others scattered across Asia and Europe. In the United States, where Huawei is just beginning to pick up steam, there are no physical retail outlets. Meanwhile in India, Huawei needs all the help they can get in throwing down the gauntlet against Samsung, Lenovo/Moto, and a number of cheap Chinese and local competitors.
Even in the midst of a worldwide economic slowdown, Chengdong is spirited about the planned effort, saying that the number of Huawei stores out there right now is “far from enough”. In the face of their 35,000 stores in 170 countries compared to competitor Apple’s 484 stores in 17 countries, that statement gives a good glimpse into the strategic thinking behind this decision; Huawei is clearly looking to become a household name in a far larger number of countries by putting up physical locations that will get noticed, and where consumers can actually play with their devices, rather than just seeing them online. The telecom giant seems to be going all in on smartphones this year, but only time will tell if they’ll ever be able to snatch the top two spots from Samsung and Apple.