Chinese telecoms equipment and device maker Huawei aims to boost smartphone shipments in SouthEast Asia (SEA) by 160 per cent to eight million units this year, with strong growth forecast in rapidly growing Myanmar as well as Thailand.
Huawei’s Q1 smartphone shipments in the region jumped 120 per cent, according to Thomas Liu, president for Huawei’s SEA consumer business group, Reuters reported.
It plans to set up 1,500 customer service centres across the region by the year-end.
Newly opened Myanmar has emerged as Huawei’s largest market in SEA, with the vendor claiming more than a 50 per cent market share, Liu said.
In Thailand Huawei expects to boost its market share from 2 per cent to 15 per cent by 2018, the Bangkok Post reported.
The Shenzhen-based company sold only 200,000 smartphones in Thailand last year, but sees big opportunities in SEA’s second largest market, which IDC has forecast to grow 29 per cent this year.
Richard Yu, Huawei’s chief executive of the consumer business group, told the Post that it aims to triple shipment to 600,000 units this year for about a 5 per cent share.
Huawei, which has its regional headquarters in Bangkok, plans to spend THB400 million ($11.8 million) this year to expand its customer service centres from 60 to 100 nationwide and double the number of product consultants to 400.
Yu acknowledged, the Post reported, that it faces fierce pressure from other Chinese handset makers, particularly fast-rising Xiaomi, which has been aggressively moving into the Thai market via online retail channels and bundled strategies with local operators.
Meanwhile, rival Acer plans to increase its smartphone market share in Thailand to 8 per cent this year from 5 per cent last year. The Taiwan-based firm will focus on distribution through selective channels, such as co-marketing with operators through a bundling strategy, and attracting customers with low to midrange prices of THB2,000-5,000 ($60 to $150), the Post reported.
Lenovo, Acer and ASUS had a combined share of 15 per cent in Thailand in 2014.