2014 was definitely a pretty good year for Huawei. According to reports from the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, the China-based phone maker has generated revenues amounting to $11.8 billion for its smartphone segment.
Both the Wall Street Journal and Reuters cited an internal staff memorandum sent by Richard Yu, the head of Huawei's consumer business. In the memo, Yu revealed that shipments of Huawei smartphones hit more than 75 million units during the year. Compared to last year's numbers, that's a 40 percent improvement. Although Reuters reported that the company was aiming for 80 million units, 75 million is still a very impressive achievement.
Despite a banner year for Huawei, the company remains rooted in its home market, China. Still, Huawei has started penetrating international markets -- outside China, its products are strongest in the Middle East region, northern Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
Even Huawei has some presence in the United States, a challenging market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Just this year, the Chinese phone maker introduced the Ascend Mate 7 device, which offers a 6-inch display screen, metal design, fingerprint scanner, and an octa-core chip set.
Huawei is far from being the only Chinese phone maker currently making waves in the industry. There's Lenovo, which acquired Motorola Mobility just last October, and then there's Xiaomi, which earlier in the week stated that it has raised $1.1 billion in venture capital funding. As of 2014's third quarter, these trio of Chinese companies have rounded out the top five companies in the world in terms of smartphone revenue, just behind expected leaders Apple and Samsung.
Obviously, it would be very hard for Huawei (or for any Chinese phone maker for that matter) to surpass the record sales of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. But these Chinese companies have been doing very well in expanding to other emerging markets overseas. They may not be able to beat Apple's popularity, but they can make up for it by penetrating fresh new markets with low-cost smartphone choices, a strategy which most of the time actually works.
Aside from putting up very decent smartphone revenue numbers, Huawei is also beginning to get recognition as a global brand. As a matter of fact, last October, the company was included in Interbrand's list of the 100 most valuable brands in the world today. If it keeps up the good work, Huawei may find itself smoothly transitioning from a maker of budget-friendly devices to one that also offers premium choice offerings.
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