Huawei and Samsung celebrate smartphone strength

Huawei is crowing about out-performing the smartphone market while Samsung Electronics has seen its profits jump by 50%.

Huawei’s Consumer Business Group is forecasting sales revenue of 178 billion RMB for the whole of 2016, up 42% from a year ago. This is on the back of a 29% year-on-year growth in annual smartphone shipments to 139 million units – massively out-pacing the stagnant overall market. The flagship P9 model has also topped 10 million units shipped – the first time, apparently, a Huawei flagship phone has managed that feat.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s CBG, grabbed a keynote slot as CES 2017 at which he inevitably took the opportunity to stress how great Huawei is at smartphones. “This can be attributed to our consumer-centric approach that focuses on creating meaningful innovation, as well as our ongoing commitment to building a premium brand and reinforcing our global channels and service capabilities,” he elaborated.

Yu reckons Huawei is out-innovating the rest of the smartphone market but could only list dual-camera tech, an Android skin and vaguely-defined AI stuff as illustrations. The EMUI 5.0 software apparently tackles the issue of Android phones slowing down over time, partly because it plays nice with the Huawei Kirin chipset. The clever bit about Huawei’s AI efforts, we’re told, is the degree of integration between the device, software and the cloud.

Meanwhile Samsung Electronics has revealed its Q4 2016 earnings guidance and it expects an operating profit of 9.2 trillion won on the back of 53 trillion won revenue. Not only does this profit number represent a 50% increase on the year-ago quarter, it also tops the Reuters analyst estimate by a clear trillion big ones.

No business unit guidance is offered at this stage but it’s likely that the Samsung Galaxy S7 flagship smartphone was a major contributor to the uptick and this correspondent, who owns one, can confirm it is an excellent device with no obvious weaknesses and which now supports VoLTE. Samsung’s increased profitability is especially impressive in the light of the massive write-off from the Note7 debacle.

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