Sunday Debate: Will Huawei Succeed in Western Markets?

Sunday Debate: Will Huawei Succeed in Western Markets?

In just a few years, Huawei managed to break into the Android scene with a bang, and after their 2015 line-up which included the revered Nexus 6P, the company is seemingly ready to expand towards new frontiers.

Despite the fact that the company has been around for awhile, it wasn’t until 2015 where Huawei began making both a better impression and a deeper incursion into the perceivable part of the Android iceberg. With their Honor brand, they are also attempting to nab new frontiers with a fresh name and suite aimed at “digital natives”. Huawei has been eyeing Western markets, and while it had a gradual expansion, the company is ready to launch Honor in the U.S., with an announcement expected at CES.

After a year full of phones and even smartwatches, it’s time to begin pondering whether Huawei is ready to not only expand, but perhaps also arrive to our own pockets. With phones like the Huawei Mate S pioneering technologies like “Force Touch” on Android, and products like the Huawei Watch touting the premium potential of the company, can Huawei make it into the aging flagship-centric markets?

  • Has Honor/Huawei caught your attention in 2015?
  • Which kind of products must they continue to put out?
  • How would Huawei stand out against the big industry names?
  • Would an online sales model benefit their inclusion, or hurt it?
  • Do you believe they can offer sufficiently-competitive products?

Food For Thought

Huawei has been determined to expand its sphere of influence for a while now, under the premise of premium products for these traditionally higher-end markets. In the West, many are under the (often unjustified) impression that Chinese manufacturers and smaller OEMs do not offer quality products. Phones like the Asus Zenfone 2 managed to make noise this year even in these markets, but not necessarily because of astounding quality. Huawei’s Android Wear watch proved that the company can do high-end, and it’s also the premium incursion they needed to condition those who never knew of the company until this year. The Mate S grabbed headlines again by incorporating “Force Touch” technology, and finally, the Nexus 6P turned enthusiast heads by providing one of the best pure Android experiences as of yet.

However, there are numerous factors in such a large incursion, and many of them aren’t favorable. By introducing Honor first, a 2-year old and largely unnoticed name, Huawei misses out on some of the reputation the 6P and Huawei Watch brought with them in 2015. The new name and brand is intended for Western markets, but its repertoire and credentials are not as thorough as Huawei’s, and as far as we know, they will mostly focus on releasing international devices like the Honor 7.  Finally, if these phones can’t secure a place in retail stores, and if they can’t adapt around the contract model, they could suffer the same fate other high-end products see as consumers either won’t pay the full price or won’t know about them. Considering the U.S. in particular is still a high-end market, this could limit Honor’s appeal, especially if they must introduce lower-cost or mid-range phones to compete at first.

Debating

In just a short span of time, Huawei became one of the most talked-about OEMs. Their new HiSilicon processor efforts, their revamped focus, their watch, their Honor brand and their Nexus gave us plenty to discuss and look forward to this year. But Huawei still has a long path ahead of it, one which many have failed. So we ask:

  • Has Honor/Huawei caught your attention in 2015?
  • Which kind of products must they continue to put out?
  • How would Huawei stand out against the big industry names?
  • Would an online sales model benefit their inclusion, or hurt it?
  • Do you believe they can offer sufficiently-competitive products?

 

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