Huawei Technologies CEO Ken Hu believes the company's revenue growth slowed down over the course of this year and may only be up around 15 percent, Reuters reported Friday, citing official communication from the rotating executive. The Shenzhen, China-based original equipment manufacturer is likely to post a turnover of approximately 600 billion yuan or just over $92 billion for the entire year, Mr. Hu specified, adding that the tech giant managed to record 153 million smartphone shipments in 2017, marking an annual growth of approximately ten percentage points.
While the projection describes the slowest growth since 2013, Huawei still has plenty of reasons for optimism, having managed to strengthen its position of the world's third largest handset maker in the last 12 months and expand its business to new markets. Besides dominating the world's biggest smartphone market where it convincingly outperformed BBK Electronics' subsidiaries OPPO and Vivo, the company also set its sights on the most lucrative flagship market in the world and spent the better part of the year negotiating with U.S. wireless carriers over entering the country with a number of its flagship offerings, according to recent reports. While its Mate 9 lineup already had a stateside debut in early 2017, it was only sold by third-party electronics retailers like Amazon and given how mobile service providers move by far the largest portion of new smartphones in the United States, Huawei has little choice but to get the wireless industry on its side if it stands to have any hope of truly penetrating the market. Its Android 8.0 Oreo-powered Mate 10 flagship is said to be launching on AT&T in February and may also be carried by Verizon, insiders claimed earlier this week.
While Huawei's premium hardware is widely touted as being capable of competing with high-end offerings from Apple and Samsung — the duo that dominates the U.S. market — Huawei's software has been limiting the Western appeal of its devices in recent years. The unconventional design of EMUI that was originally made to cater to Chinese consumers who can't access the Google Play Store and other services from Alphabet's subsidiary is now being revised in order to have a bigger draw in the U.S. and eliminate some previously introduced changes that one of Huawei's top executives reportedly even called "stupid."