Challenge, context & objectives
The CEE smartphone market is already mature. While in 2015 number of sold handsets had increased by 24% vs 2014, in 2017 this growth slowed down to 4%. Market saturation contributed to a tougher competition among leading smartphone producers.
Huawei is a relatively new brand in the CEE market. Being officially launched in 2015, in two years Huawei became the No. 2 player enjoying 18% share of market (sales units). Samsung remains the unquestioned leader with 40% SOM, while Apple holds the third position with 9% SOM. Remaining 13+ brands account for 33% SOM. (GFK Panel VII'17)
Marketing communication is built around flagship products having a halo effect on brands' portfolio. Category is inherently associated with a constant technological development making brand's perception and overall image strongly correlated with technical parameters and performance of its latest flagship model.
Samsung (focused on Galaxy models) and Apple benefit from a well-established perception as the most advanced, innovative producers offering the superior quality devices. Huawei, being perceived as "a value for money" brand, has gained a significant share in midrange price segments becoming the fastest growing brand in CEE region.