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Huawei launches new flagship smartphone

Huawei yesterday launched its flagship Ascend P7 smartphone in Thailand, where it aims to capture 4 per cent of the smartphone market this year and plans to invest US$6 million (Bt195 million), more than one-third of its total marketing budget for Southeast Asia.

"This year we aim to sell between 500,000 and 750,000 smartphones and about 100,000 tablets, all under Huawei brands," said Thomas Liu, managing director of devices in Southeast Asia for Huawei Technologies (Thailand).

The smartphone market here is very active and is expected to reach some 11 million units this year, he said.

The $6-million marketing budget will go to promoting and building sales of smartphones under the Huawei brand and opening four flagship stores, two in Bangkok and two upcountry.

"Huawei's flagship stores are required to promote and show our smartphones to consumers to let them get experience with the products.

"We also recruited 200 more sales staff to persuade customers to buy our smartphones," he said.

Huawei just started marketing smartphones under its brands last year. With its success in achieving sales of 9,000 units of the Ascend P6, it targets moving 70,000 units of the Ascend P7 this year.

"Huawei's product portfolio ranges across markets from high-end to mid-tier and affordable. We maintain around eight models to be available in the market," Liu said.

"About 70 per cent of revenue will come from the high-end and mid-tier markets, and Huawei Ascend P7 is the leader."

Huawei says its consumer business group in Thailand is growing much faster than global growth, which is expected to be 30 per cent, but its revenue is set to surge 100 per cent.

The group has four product lines - smartphones, tablets, mobile routers and home con-nectivity devices. Smartphones are the largest revenue contributor.

This year, it has no plan to do make smartphones under others' brands.

Yang Shu, president and chief executive officer for Southeast Asia at Huawei Technologies (Thailand), said this country was one of the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia for China- based Huawei's consumer business group.


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