It is no secret that 2014 was dominated largely by Chinese OEMs in the low-end smartphone market, with the meteoric rise of Xiaomi being the prime example of this. Another Chinese OEM that has benefited by the strong sales of its low-end smartphones is Huawei.
According to an internal memo obtained by Reuters, sales of Huawei smartphones rose by “almost a third” to $11.8 billion, which translates into 75 million smartphones being shipped. While this is more than a 40% increase in sales on a YoY basis, it is still about 5 million short from the company’s estimate of 80 million. The year-end memo was sent by Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business, to all the company’s employees.
Huawei released some impressive high-end smartphones this year, including the Ascend Mate 7 that features a fingerprint scanner and an 83% body-to-bezel ratio, but its growth was largely led by its budget offerings that sold like hot cakes in China and surrounding regions.
The price of the rapid growth of Chinese OEMs in the low-end market was paid by Samsung, whose smartphone business has faltered in 2014. The Korean giant’s Galaxy S5 did not sell as per expectation, and even though the Galaxy Note 4 has received favorable reviews, the initial delay in its availability might have hampered its sales. Incidentally, LG’s smartphone business has also reported a strong growth in 2014 with analyst predicting a 26% rise in its total shipments this year.