Shoppers try out Huawei's Mate 60 Pro smartphones at a store in Jinhua, Zhejiang province. (SHI BUFA/FOR CHINA DAILY)
Huawei Technologies Co and Apple Inc are scheduled to launch new hardware devices this week, showcasing intensified market competition, as the former is planning a global comeback.
Huawei is expected to unveil its latest smartwatch in Barcelona, Spain on Thursday, just one day after Apple is scheduled to unveil its latest iPhone series in the United States on Wednesday, Beijing time.
The move comes after Huawei started selling its new Mate 60 Pro smartphones in late August without a launch event. The phone, equipped with a new 5G chip, has been very popular among Chinese consumers, signaling a possible strong comeback for Huawei's smartphone business, which had been hampered by U.S. government restrictions since 2019.
In China, consumers are waiting in lines to buy the latest smartphone from Huawei's offline stores.
Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association, said Huawei's comeback will cut into Apple's market share in China and also weigh down its domestic peers — especially Honor Device Co Ltd, which was spun off from Huawei some three years ago.
Martin Yang, an analyst at investment firm Oppenheimer, said that due to the launch of Huawei's new Mate 60 series of handsets, Apple's iPhone shipments in 2024 may decrease by 10 million units.
Industry sources said that in addition to regaining popularity in the Chinese smartphone market, Huawei is planning a comeback on the global stage.
Though Mate 60 Pros will not be available in overseas markets, Huawei's smartphone models such as P60 Pro, Mate X3 and a string of wearable products were released in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and elsewhere.
According to Huawei's financial reports, its consumer products business — which includes smartphones — saw first-half sales rise 2.2 percent year-on-year to 103.5 billion yuan ($14 billion).
In the second quarter, Huawei's share of the Chinese smartphone market jumped to 13 percent from 7.3 percent a year ago despite market-wide declines, said market research provider International Data Corp.
More importantly, Huawei ranked second in the high-end sector, IDC added.
As Huawei continues beefing up its research and development prowess amid Washington's restrictions on its access to U.S. technologies, Huawei's phones are now equipped with more domestic parts than ever, experts said.
The new chip used in Huawei's Mate 60 Pro, for instance, showcased the progress of China's chip industry, they added.
Peter Wennink, CEO of Dutch semiconductor firm ASML, said in an interview on Dutch television program Nieuwsuur last week that isolating China completely will be "hopeless" and "force" the country to ramp up innovation.