Huawei may be one of the top smartphone brands in the world, but here in Nigeria, the brand perception is rather poor. I will use an example. Yesterday, the 6-inch Android Kitkat phablet, Huawei Ascend Mate7, was launched here in Lagos. It is powered by an octa-core processor, has USB-on-the-go, a 4100 mAh battery, and a fingerprint sensor, among other standard features we have come to expect from Android OS. It has a metal body and comes with a fitness band as accessory.
That is a drool-worthy flagship device. But have a look at the reaction that Jesse Oguns got when he mentioned to someone that the Mate 7 costs N89,900:
Someone said: why can I pay that much for an Huawei phone? He's not even considering all the superb features bundled in along with design
— Jesse (@JesseOguns) November 27, 2014
Honestly, at N89,900, the Ascend Mate7 is a steal when you compare it to the cost of similar phablets from competitors. It should be flying off the shelves, but very few people around here seem to care.
While Huawei has a very strong footing in the networks section in Nigeria, its public profile with regards to smartphones has been unimpressive. When was the last time you had a discussion about a Huawei smartphone with anyone? When last did you see one with anyone that was not a cheap low-end phone?
Huawei produces some really good smartphones. I remember my review time with the Huawei Honor 3C with fondness. The Honor 3C is a mid-range smartphone that packs a wallop. The Ascend Y220 is a sub-N10,000 smartphone, a great start for anyone on a budget or getting a smartphone for the first time.
In my opinion, Huawei have not done enough to change the poor public perception of their devices. We do not see enough of their devices. We do not hear about them either. That needs to change. If not, for the most part, mobile consumers will keep looking to other brands to have their needs met.