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Huawei dials a big-spoils number with handsets

Huawei big-spoils handsets

Huawei Devices, a subsidiary of the global telecommunication solutions leader Huawei Technologies, is gearing up for big play in the Indian mobile handsets market.

The company, which is set to launch about 10-12 products including tablets in India this year, is targeting a 5-7% market share in the over-Rs5,000 handsets market by 2013. This is expected to place Huawei among the Top 5 handset players in the country.

“We are currently rolling out three smart phones in the Rs15,000 price bracket. But, we will continue to launch new models with a targeting of achieving 15% market share by 2015,” P Sanjeev, director – sales terminal, Huawei Telecommunications, said.

The company is preparing to invest about $2 billion in India for ramping up its market presence and also strengthen its India product creation centre. “We are focusing on designing products for the Indian market and we can’t rule out a first-in-India product as well. However, right now we are focusing on the smart phones segment,” he said.

Enthused by the rollout of 3G services in India, the company is preparing to tap the market with phones built on Android 2.2 platform. “At some point, we will also bring out a sub-Rs8,000 handset,” he said.

Huawei is pinning hopes on the growing Indian mobile handset market expected to clock a sales of about 170 million units as against about 150 million handsets. About 38% of this market is said to be for handsets over Rs3,500.

“There has been a bloody battle in the mobile market in the last two years with about 200-250 brands coming to the market. However, most of them were in the sub-Rs3,000 range. Now, there is a smart phone boom. Though it looks as we if we are the late entrants into the market, we think we are here at the right time,” Anand Narang, marketing director – terminal, Huawei Telecommunications, said.

Huawei has been in the Indian market since 2001 by having OEM agreements with various telecommunication companies.
The company has also been a major player in the Direct To Home set top boxes market. The company was also supplying mobile handsets for CDMA players in the country.

“Now, we have decided to promote brand Huawei in India and our entry into the open market with smart phones is a part of that strategy. From being a B2B player, the strategy now is to be a B2B and a B2C player,” he said.

Indian market has been playing a key role for Huawei Devices globally. Of the $4.5-billion revenue from the devices market last year, Indian market contributes 8-10% to this topline. This year, the devices revenue is expected to be at about $6 billion.

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