The war for mobile dominance between Samsung and Huawei may be heating up, based on a thread of tweets kicked off by Jen Dudley-Nicholson after the News Corp Australia tech editor noticed a seemingly out of place advertisement at a Samsung location.
The ad that kicked things off was spotted by Ms. Dudley-Nicholson at a Brisbane mall, taking the form of a large verticle banner placed just above a Samsung flagship store. That highlights that the Chinese handset maker's Huawei P30 and P30 Pro on sale for Mother's Day with a bonus offer for a $200 e-gift card.
Subsequent posts to the thread show that a similar tact is being taken by Huawei in other regions too. In Dubai, for example, Samsung has a banner along the road that's the size of a multi-story building but Huawei one-upped Samsung with an ad that occupies almost the entire side of a skyscraper just up the road.
The Dubai ad, just like the one in Brisbane, is meant to show off the new Huawei P30 and P30 Pro in contrast to the Samsung ad underneath it showcasing its Galaxy S10 series devices.
Finally, another user shared an image of a Samsung-owned office in Mexico where, unsurprisingly, Huawei has taken out ad space on both a building and a bus stop across the street to advertise its products. That last ad appears to show Huawei's Mate 20 — which came out last year — so it's not clear how old the image is.
A very "Samsung" response
At least in the case of the original advertisement at the Brisbane mall, Samsung appears to be completely unconcerned by the apparent trolling from Huawei. Samsung AU's response to some criticism of the company on Twitter came as a reference to the image itself, with the official account noting that the Samsung store looks like the "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."
That's not surprising since this isn't the first time either Samsung or Huawei has trolled one another but it remains to be seen whether Samsung will return fire or keep its cool for this round.
Under the surface
What would initially appear to be playful banter between the two companies is not so playful just beneath the surface. Huawei has a distinct advantage in the mobile market right now in terms of growth, compared to losses suffered by its two biggest competitors — Apple and Samsung — over the course of 2018. The company is expected to stay well ahead of Apple over the course of this year and is gunning hard for Samsung in a bid to take the top spot.
More directly, Samsung and Apple respectively saw year-over-year growth change in the negative by 8-percent and 3.2-percent in 2018 compared to the previous year. Huawei's growth, in spite of a downturn to the overall market, didn't stall. It saw 33.6-percent of year-over-year change instead.
That growth is expected to continue well into the year too, placing in a position to have a serious impact on the shape of the global market despite its ongoing battle with the west amid spying concerns in the networking equipment market.
Samsung created a fancy flagship store.
Huawei just bought a giant ad over it.
— Jen Dudley-Nicholson (@jendudley) May 4, 2019