Huawei hopes to ship 140M smartphones this year despite market challenges

Huawei's chief of consumer products said he's confident the company will meet its goal of shipping 140 million smartphones this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, which would mark a 30 percent year-over-year increase in a brutal worldwide smartphone market.

Huawei Consumer Business Group Chief Executive Richard Yu told media representatives that the division is looking to book $28 billion in revenue this year, up from 41 percent last year. The increase in sales stems partly from 15,000 new retail stores Huawei will open around the world this year.

The Chinese vendor shipped a record 100 million smartphones last year, and IDC estimates pegged Huawei's share of the worldwide smartphone market at 8.2 percent, behind only Apple and first-place Samsung. Yu said recently that the company hopes to become the top "smart-device supplier in the world" within the next several years.

Huawei said last month that it had seen "unprecedented global sales" for its P9 and P9 Plus handsets, shipping 2.6 million of the phones within the first six weeks of availability as its share of the worldwide smartphone market rose to 8.5 percent. ZDNet reported that sales of Huawei's new flagship device are already 130 percent higher than those of its predecessor. The phone is selling particularly well in European markets including France, the U.K., Finland and Poland.

Huawei's success is particularly striking in light of slowing worldwide smartphone sales due largely to lengthening handset replacement cycles and penetration rates that are reaching the saturation point in many markets. IDC early this year said 2015 was likely the last year of double-digit growth in the global smartphone market, predicting the segment will plod along at a 6 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020.

Huawei executive Maurice D'Souza told FierceWireless recently that the company saw its sales to U.S. carriers grow 10 percent to 15 percent last year, but its American customers remain small players such as Union Wireless, United Wireless and Pioneer Telecom. The company maintains it has no plans to introduce its handsets to the U.S. in any meaningful way, but if it could somehow score an American carrier partner, it could close the gap with its bigger rivals in a big way.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal report

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