As China’s massive population adopts smartphones, Chinese smartphone makers stand much to gain. Take Huawei, for example. It has quietly become no. 3 on the list of worldwide smartphone vendors based on total sales and has seen revenues rise 19 percent so far this year, even as no. 1 Samsung is warning its investors of declining shipments.
Huawei announced its mid-year performance on Monday, saying “Revenue and profit for the first half of 2014 are in line with our expectations.” It’s easy to think Huawei is simply growing because its a high-profile company in a country still ripe for large mobile device sales growth. Surely, that is a big part of the equation, but it’s not the whole story.
The company noted that its flagship smartphone, the Ascend P7, is available in 70 countries. And last month, Huawei launched an online store in the U.S., catering to the up-and-coming unlocked phone market here: As carriers either abolish or provide alternatives to lengthy contracts and phone subsidies, the company wants to provide handsets to customers who want unlocked, contract-free phones.
To that end, Huawei offers the Ascend Mate2, a 6-inch, $299 off-contract Android phone to U.S. consumers now, with additional models on the way. I’m currently using an Ascend Mate2 review unit — stay tuned for a full review — and find it’s generally a super value for the cost. Clearly, others around the world feel the same about Huawei’s smartphones, given that the company only trails Samsung and Apple when it comes to global sales.