Financial News

  • 24 February 2014, 20:12

China Seeks Global Smartphone Dominance

China's biggest brands are jostling for the spotlight at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

HuaWei was one of the first companies to invite press to preview its latest offerings at the Spanish mobile conference.

On show was a new mid-range smartphone, the Ascend G6, designed with a youth market in mind, plus two new phablets which will provide Apple's iPad Mini with competition.

But it was the electronic giant's wearable offering which was most talked-about. The Talkband is a smart bracelet that can monitor the user's fitness and it can also be separated from its base to work as a bluetooth ear-piece.

The Chinese companies ambition is evident but will innovation and engineering be enough to help it to establish itself as a main player in the European and American markets?

Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer at the GSMA (the organisation behind the Barcelona congress) said the global market is becoming less of a closed shop.

"Chinese companies have about 10% to 15%in the device market now but I think that's really going to take off over the next few years," he told Sky News.

"You need to get a certain level of sales to be able to afford the level of advertising that's required to really push commercial products and obviously there's a lot of scale, particularly in Apple and Samsung who have such a significant share of the market.

"It's hard to break in but i think the technology that we're seeing come out of China makes that a possibility."

Jim Powell, product director for Huawei in the UK, told Sky News the company believes the smartphone market will not remain dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung.

"You lose momentum, we've seen lots of companies over the history of time start to fall away when they lose their innovative edge," he said.

"The future is there for everybody to grab and that's going to be just as much about innovation and engineering as it will be about brand."

Stuart Miles, editor of Pocket-Lint, says it will be interesting to see if consumers can be convinced.

"They're trying to just say, 'Look, we can produce something that's thin, that's fast, its good it works, get over the fact that you've never heard of the brand - or probably for most people - that you don't even know how to pronounce the brand'."

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