Huawei is having a hard time trying to break its way into the U.S telecommunications market. At first it was simply a matter of appealing to American consumers who are used to brands such as Samsung, Apple, Windows, LG, HTC, Sony Ericsson, and Nokia with products such as the iPhone, Galaxy, Windows Phone, and so on. The rogue’s gallery against Huawei’s U.S success is pretty mighty as it stands just competing in the market. Even Sprint—which sold their products—gave Huawei the business.
For the longest, Huawei’s target was getting in with T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon which would’ve gotten them a seat at the table or a ticket to the dance, so to speak. Unfortunately for Huawei, they’re now dealing with being the target of security concerns, something that could be a market killer for any brand. The concern from Congress—detailed in a report on the issue—is that Huawei could be a vehicle for Chinese hackers or spies in the United States’ networks. Of course, Huawei has denied this and tried to ease concerns often. Huawei wasn’t alone as fellow Chinese telecommunications company ZTE was also put on the block.
Being out of the infrastructure dance, Huawei has still managed to get a piece of smartphone market in the U.S which makes up but a small piece of the company’s $35 billion annual haul. While earlier this month Huawei have said they’re pretty much done with the U.S market for the moment, Richard Yu—Huawei’s CEO of Consumer Business Group—was optimistic about their chances in the U.S. “Gradually, step by step, more and more people will trust Huawei.” Yu said in an interview with CNN.
Trust aside, brand recognition is another issue with Huawei and something they will have to establish.
While the American market is definitely a goal of theirs, Huawei’s other primary goal—one shared by all companies in the smartphone game—is to loosen Apple and Samsung’s clutches on the world smartphone market. Huawei did make some waves by shipping 10.8 million smartphones and effectively hopping over Nokia, ZTE, and Sony. This put the China-based company behind Apple who managed 47.8 million and Samsung who moved 63.7 million phones.
Huawei could certainly do better globally this year as an alternative to Samsung and Apple. However the American market could continue to elude them unless they’re able to convince one of the retailer giants and service providers to not only carry, but promote their wares.