How Huawei became smartphone big boys without the US market

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Huawei is the 3rd largest smartphone maker in the world. That isn’t news anymore. The feat was achieved in early 2014. The brand shipped 100 million smartphones in 2015. That is still big news, for that puts them in the really big league – the league of Samsung and Apple, brands that move over 100 million devices annually. Roll out the drums!

But the really big news is that most of those 100 million phones were not sold in the United States. Huawei does not have a presence in the US smartphone market yet. Huawei didn’t need the US market to do this well. Xiaomi didn’t need the US market to become world number 5 either.

Huawei P7

This is in contrast to brands like Nokia/Microsoft and BlackBerry who tried to tackle the US market from a position of weakness. See What Shall It Profit a Brand to Gain the US and Lose the World?? Like I said, bad idea. Huawei is executing my recommendations it perfectly: build momentum in your areas of strength, then go for the challenging places. Next year, Huawei plans to get into the US market. This ought to be interesting.

One thing is sure: Huawei stands a much better chance of gaining a foothold in the US market now from this position of strength than if they had attempted it years ago when they were a much smaller, and weaker, player.


  1. But people in the US know they can buy from other markets, so penetrating the US market is no biggie anymore. Years ago I said on Mobility that the ones to watch we’re the likes of Huawei and ZTE, those manufacturers that have a presence elsewhere without the branding.

    They came out from the shadows and here we are.

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