Huawei reveals 45% smartphone shipment growth in 2014

Chinese telco giant Huawei, perhaps conscious of rival Ericsson announcing its quarterlies today, has decided to unveil the 2014 performance of its Consumer Business Group, which is almost entirely comprised of mobile handsets. While total device shipments only increased by 8% over the previous year to 138 million units, smartphone shipments jumped by 45% to 75 million units.

We estimate Huawei shipped 50-55 million units in the first three quarters of the year so that would put its Q4 smartphone shipments at a healthy 20-25 million. It should be noted that Huawei will have benefited from the continued strong growth in its domestic market, but there are signs its international efforts are yielding results.

The global influence of our brand has continued to grow, and Huawei has become the first mainland Chinese company to successfully enter Interbrand’s Top 100 Global Brands of 2014 list,” said Richard Yu, CEO of the Huawei Consumer Business Group.

“Our strategy of focusing on premium mid- to high- end products has borne fruit, with 2014 resulting in significant achievements in a number of areas including product R&D, brand awareness, channel development and growth in market share which further consolidated our number three position in the global smartphone market.

Xiaomi might have something to say about that number three claim, but in spite of strong competition from domestic rivals, attractive devices such as the Ascend P7 seem to be service Huawei well. Huawei revealed the P7 shipped 4 million units last year, while the Mate7 (pictured) managed 2 million in the four months since its launch. Huawei also revealed that its Honor brand, which is available only through its own channels, managed 20 million units last year.

“The dual-Huawei and Honor brand strategy has proven to be highly successful, creating synergies which have resulted in raising brand awareness and market share of the Huawei Consumer BG as a whole,” said Shao Yang, marketing VP of the group. “The Huawei brand has consolidated its leading position in mid- to high- end smartphone market while the Honor brand has established itself as a bold and popular brand among digital native consumers.”

Looking forward, CEO Yu said he’s targeting 100 million smartphones shipped in 2015. That seems ambitious but on current form achievable.

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