China’s Huawei Technologies forecast smartphone shipments of 140 million-150 million this year, a sharp slowdown in annual growth as the world’s third-largest smartphone maker chases profits instead of volumes by selling more high-end phones.
Shenzhen-based Huawei’s profit growth has been under pressure with its low margin smartphone business facing strong competition at home and abroad, forcing Huawei earlier this year to de-emphasise revenue growth.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, said on Thursday the company expected to ship 140 million-150 million smartphones for the full year compared to 73 million achieved in the first half.
The full-year forecast would compare to the 139 million smartphones Huawei shipped last year, which was up 29 percent compared to the year before.
And though its smartphone shipments surged by more than a fifth in the first half, Yu emphasised that Huawei was not aiming for volumes.
“We want to focus on the high-end and mid-range market. We give up the ultra low-end,” he said, adding the average selling price of Huawei phones rose 28 percent in the first half.
Yu acknowledged intensifying competition at the high-end of smartphones from Apple Inc’s planned release of the iPhone 8 but said Huawei was well equipped to hold its ground.
“We have the Mate 10 series that can compete head to head against the iPhone 8,” Yu told reporters, referring to Huawei’s next premium flagship that is expected to be released in the fall. According to Yu, it will be superior to Apple’s anticipated smash-hit product with “much longer”…