Mobile Communications

Huawei launch reactions: Will Huawei's 'full scale assault' be enough?

Yesterday Huawei launched their latest flagship phone, the Huawei P9. The event may not have had the consumer attention of an Apple launch, but the media reaction seems to have been favourable. I certainly like the look of the new device, but what about industry experts?


“Today marks the launch of the new Huawei P9, proof positive that the mobile handset market is as competitive as ever. Though Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy have always stood as the two dominant players, the battle for third place has continued to rage between Sony, HTC and Huawei. This new launch, however, puts Huawei in a position of real strength, and is a clear demonstration of their intentions to own that number three slot.

“It takes more than product features and volume to build a brand, however, and the partnership with the camera icon Leica is going to be crucial in competing with the market leaders. It will be interesting to see what other partnerships they forge in the future to help build the Huawei brand.”

- Ben Little, Co-Founder of Fearlessly Frank


“One of the biggest talking points about the Huawei P9 is definitely the 12MP camera, which in fact is 1MP lower than the P8 but a huge upgrade with regards to camera features. Huawei’s collaboration with photography giant Leica has clearly paid dividends with this intelligent lens, which redefines what a smartphone camera is capable of.

“Now we’re able to take full control of the subject we’re snapping, making the most of the depth-of-field and contract, without sacrificing colour or clarity. With a whole host of features and modes to experiment with, it’s a long time since we were this impressed with a camera phone innovation.”

- Abby Francis, Mobiles.co.uk


“Huawei has launched a full scale assault on Western mobile makers with a raft of low cost yet high spec devices that capture the attention of millennials. 

“One of the new kids on the block – along with other Chinese challenger brands like Xiaomi – Huawei has managed to raise Apple’s hackles: the launch of the cheaper iPhone SE could be read as the tech giant’s attempt to claw back some of the younger users it lured away. 

“Therefore, stalwart mobile makers are not going to like the launch of the flagship P9. Compared to the iPhone 6s it’s slimmer, and boasts a bigger display with better colour saturation, so it could well prove to be a large thorn in the iPhone’s side. But it’s the battery capacity – almost twice the size of the 6s – that is the real killer.

“Partnering with German camera maker Leica is a smart move. Not only is a decent camera a major selling point for smartphones today, it adds brand power to a phone maker that is not yet a household name here in the UK. 

“This time around, Huawei has successfully forged relationships with the big four UK networks to help it transition from a realistic challenger to a household name brand - meaning it now really is a force to be reckoned with.”

- Rob Kerr, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com


“The P9 and P9 Plus are another example of high quality flagship phones emerging from Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Its dual-lens rear camera is a glimpse into the future standard for phone cameras. It is truly ingenious in how it uses the second camera sensor. It also measures quite nicely and supersedes in many cases the other leading flagship phones.

“The problem however is that the label is on the back is neither Samsung nor Apple. It is quite simply that. There are no videos on YouTube of a teenager hugging their parents after unwrapping a Huawei phone on Christmas Day, or at least outside of China.

“Samsung and Apple marketing departments have simply won the brand wars so far. We the geek minority of course generally steer away from the major brands (unless one is bought into the Apple ecosystem - which is understandable). The Nexus phone from Google which is made by manufacturers such as LG and HTC is as good as any flagship phone on the market yet retails at 50% cheaper than high-end equivalents.

“Apart from exhausting their cash reservoirs on brand advertising, there is little the likes of Huawei can do to capture more market share in the West in the short term. What is to their advantage however is that the smartphone has reached its final form factor. What this means is that most flagship smartphones simply look the same and more importantly respond the same. Upgrading a phone is becoming less and less of an 'experience' as the differences are more and more under the hood - usually incremental improvements in the camera, sensors, screen resolution, wireless etc.

“So until the Stigma of buying lesser known brand smartphones lessen, this is just another wonderful smartphone that will capture a small percentage of a huge market here in Europe.”

- Dr. Kevin Curran, Senior Member of the IEEE, Reader in Computer Science at Ulster University


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Kate Hoy

Kate Hoy is Editor of IDG Connect

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