In the last few months, Chinese smartphone manufacturer and global leader, Huawei, has been entrenched in a series of misfortunes brought about several fiscal and legislative attacks from the Trump Administration. Many have speculated that the company, who was previously one of the most successful Chinese tech company, is nearing its end.
Huawei was seen almost crumbling to regain momentum after the company barely skirted the US ban that prohibited them from conducting business in the country and stopped them from buying American-made products. Huawei almost lost its partnership with Google, the developer of the popular operating system, Android, which Huawei has licensed for its famous Huawei and Honor phones. They also almost lost their partnership with ARM, which supplies chip technology to the Chinese company.
Amidst all these, Huawei chairperson Ren Zhengfai, seem to remain calm and optimistic. Now, Washington has eased the ban against Huawei, and the company can soon resume its partnership with US suppliers. Recent reports suggest that the company’s resilience ushers Huawei to new heights.
In a tweet, Global Times revealed that the patriarch of the company, Ren Zhenfai, recently said that 270 million Huawei devices from the company would be shipped in 2019. This number is even more significant than its 2018 figures.
In 2018, Huawei was able to sell 200 million smartphones, generating USD 26.8 billion in Q1 2019, and expected to take Samsung’s position as the leader of all smartphone brands by the end of 2020.
Samsung, in comparison, has shipped around 293.7 million phones in the same year, suggesting that by the end of 2019, if the Korean tech giant will be able to pull another success in achieving the same number again, Huawei will be an inch away from taking over the top spot from Samsung.
Huawei also recently confirmed that they are developing HongMeng OS, which people initially speculated to be an alternative to Google. Reports have said that Hongxing OS has been in the works since 2012 and is Huawei’s back up plan for incidents like the Trump ban. However, a company executive recently told reporters that HongMeng is not going to be used for smartphones. Instead, it is an industrial OS for Huawei’s bid for several IoT devices.
“The Hongmeng OS is primarily developed for IoT devices that will reduce latency… In terms of smartphones, we are still using the Android operating system and ecosystem as a “first choice.” We haven’t decided yet if the Hongmeng OS can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future,” said Liang Hua.
This also confirms the fact that Huawei is also going to expand its business beyond smartphones and telecommunication to the Internet of Things. IoT technology is what powers smart homes and smart objects, and it seems like Huawei is working to dominate this niche as well.
IoT is not new to Huawei as the China-based company has already released several IoT devices. However, the development of HongMeng OS will significantly improve the company’s position in the IoT market.
The clarification of the purpose of HongMeng also signifies that the Huawei still depends on Android as its main operating system for Huawei and Honor phones amidst what happened. Even then, CEO Ren Zhengfei reportedly seems optimistic, even after what’s happened, but it’s most likely that this optimism isn’t misplaced.
Amidst the announcements that the company has intended on equipping a significant portion of its shipments with Kirin SoCs, the smartphone manufacturer is still highly dependent on Qualcomm and has recently instructed its business consumer arm to secure a vast amount of Qualcomm silicon shipments. People with knowledge on the matter said that this move from Huawei is to prepare the company if the global trading landscape shifts its course overnight
It has to be noted that Huawei’s success in the smartphone market is its strategy to infiltrate all market and pricing brackets. Commentators have said that even Huawei’s lower bracket devices are still competitive in terms of performance that excites users into jumping into the Huawei bandwagon.
However, it is still unclear if the company will be able to recover from the losses it incurred following the bans imposed by the Trump administration. More importantly, the question remains: will Huawei outperform itself this 2019? Well, only time can tell.