Shenzhen: Being a company that only focused on building telecommunication networks, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. found it hard to enter and create a smartphone brand, a Huawei executive said in an interview during the Huawei Headquarters Media Tour in Shenzhen, Guangdong China.

The company’s Vice President of Marketing Shao Yang said that since its establishment in 1987, Huawei was focused only on building networks and providing operational and consulting services and equipment to enterprises inside and outside of China.

“We are doing the telecom carrier network and that it is something we keep focusing from the start. The company’s vision is to reach people’s lives through telecommunication. So how to get people’s lives more wonderful is something we keep focusing,” he said.

However, because of the rising demand for devices that would match the networks that Huawei created, the world’s third largest global network provider decided to enter smartphone manufacturing.

Shao explained that through the years, Huawei found that not only the network but also the devices are more important to people’s experience.

“So we not only provide the network but also, we provide the device. That’s why we have (business groups) Telecom Carrier Networks, Enterprise Networks and Consumer Businesses,” he noted.

The Huawei executive said that under the Consumer Business Group is Huawei Device, which is dedicated to bring the latest technologies to consumers.

Shao related that the distinctive change in the company started in 2009 when its partners demanded Huawei to build a smartphone brand that would compete with giant brands like Apple and Samsung.

“Our partners suddenly come to us and said: ‘Huawei you must change.’ Device is going to be more and more relatable to consumer experience and the more important to people’s lives. They want someone to compete with iPhone and Samsung. Even one of the largest operator in the world said that we must build a [smartphone]brand,” he said.

Creating smartphones
The company executive noted that from then on, a lot has happened to Huawei to create smartphones. The company used higher advanced technology and more innovation; improved its operating channel to connect with customers; and the more important is branding and how to build the Huawei image for the consumers.

“It happened in all areas—customer understanding, R&D (research and development), channel, marketing—we tried to transform our operation to relate more to people and consumers. Transforming is not so easy but looks good,” he said.

Shao added that the transformation translated in the third quarter reviews for the company, which showed that Huawei is now the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.

“In Q3 (third quarter), we shipped 13.39 million smartphones and have manufactured 5.1 percent of global smartphones. We are transforming and we hope that we continue the consumer brand in the future and help people’s lives,” he said.

The Huawei executive elaborated that Huawei has four smartphone series namely: D (Diamond) Series; P (Platinum) Series; G (Gold) Series; and the Y (Youth) Series.

Asked on how Huawei would compete with other brands, Shao said that the company prides itself with innovation, cheaper premium or producing premium phones but not in a very high price, and keeping high quality to serve the people.

“Price is just one element of the total experience. It’s not really the pricing but the innovation that brought us to global scene. Bringing innovation into something no other can do. We keep thinking how to create more innovation,” he said.


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