LONDON: Huawei, the Chinese telecoms business, is aiming to become the cool brand for smartphone users as it seeks to take on the industry leaders, Apple and Samsung.
In London to announce the launch of the Huawei Ascend P6, chief executive Richard Yu, told the Sunday Telegraph
: "We want to provide the best, most beautiful, slimmest smartphone". And he planned to undercut the top two brands on price.
Yu noted that Apple's latest update had made the iPhone very simple to use. "But if we are just learning from them we can't catch up, because they are now slipping," he said. "We want to go higher than them."
He argued that Apple was being held back in China by not offering a large-screen phone. "Asian people prefer large phones," he said, adding: "Gentlemen can't put an iPad Mini in a pocket."
And there was implicit criticism of Samsung's products when he remarked: "We're not made of plastic".
He also dismissed the Samsung Galaxy S4 as "just a so-so smartphone" and suggested that Samsung's success was as much a product of hype and adspend as quality.
"Samsung, they have such huge money – if you invest in marketing and branding then people will always buy no matter how good the products are," he declared.
"We don't have so much money to do marketing and branding so we have to make our products better," he added.
Yu has found an ally in the UK in Carphone Warehouse, the retail chain, whose chief executive, Sir Charles Dunstone, said that Huawei had "very credible aims" and noted that a decade ago Nokia was the undisputed leading brand.
He argued that product prices had gone up rather than down in recent years as more features were added, but Huawei was creating a point of difference.
"Huawei is approaching it in a smart way – they're saying, 'How do I give people a better product at a better price?'".
Data sourced from Sunday Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff