Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is putting in a lot of money recently to promote its new phone, Honor 8, which was launched in India on October 12. The brand has chalked out a 360-degree marketing plan, which includes full page ads in leading national dailies across top 100 cities, occupying visible television ad spots to featuring at prominent places in the OOH space. The company will also further increase the marketing spends in order to carve a space for itself in the competitive Indian smartphone market. We reached out to Huawei for comments, but their spokespersons were unavailable at the time of filing the story.
According to reports, Huawei a few months back, expressed their desire of capturing 10 per cent market share in the Indian smartphone market by the end of next year, on the back of its dual-brand strategy (Huawei and Honor) and special focus on the offline retail channel. As per one Counterpoint data, the company has till now struggled in India, having just 0.5 per cent share in the first half of this calendar year, as compared to 0.9 per cent share in the same period last year.
Bullish growth plans:
However, Huawei is bullish about its expansion plans in India. It has plans of increasing the number of its retail stores, from 2,000 currently to 50,000 stores by the end of this year. It has also successfully obtained the license required to set up its smartphone manufacturing plant in the country recently. Huawei will start to manufacture smartphones in India in collaboration with the leading global electronics manufacturer, Flex India. The plant will have the capacity to make three million units by the end of 2017. It will also further strengthen its after sales service in India with over 200 service centres, including more than 30 exclusive Huawei service centres in India.
Badminton player Saina Nehwal was roped in as the Indian brand ambassador for Huawei’s Honor smartphone brand in March this year. The long term partnership with the Saina coincided with Honor’s growth phase in the country. Ace footballer Lionel Messi became the brand’s global ambassador also this year. Recently, other than Honor 8, Honor 8 Smart and its first Made-in-India smartphone Honor Holly 3 was also unveiled in the Indian market.
Target during festive season:
As part of Diwali sale, when all the other brands like Xiaomi and LeEco offered heavy discounts, Huawei even joined the bandwagon by offering discount on its Honor line of smartphones.
It will be interesting to see if Huawei with their recent strategy in place manages to finally capture 10 per cent of market share in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.
Global smartphone market:
Talking about the global market, according to data shared by IHS Research analyst Kevin Wang, Oppo Mobiles has dethroned Huawei to become the top smartphone player in China. Oppo has sold 22 million smartphone units in Q3 and Huawei has seen a sharp drop, where it has sold 18 million units this quarter as compared to 32 million units in Q2. Vivo has occupied the second spot, by recording a total of 19 million units in sales in Q3.
As per a recent Counterpoint report, the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the July - September quarter saw the shipments of Chinese brands comprising Vivo, Oppo and Huawei grow in percentage terms, while the global shipments of established brands like Apple, Samsung and others witnessed a drop. In fact the global shipments of Vivo grew 115.7 per cent; Oppo increased100 per cent, while Huawei's shipments grew 22.6 per cent. Compared to this, the global shipments of Apple were down 5.2 per cent, Samsung, 9.5 per cent and LG was down 9.4 per cent.