Huawei launches a series of flagship smartphones despite the COVID-19 pandemic
Chinese technology giant Huawei has been launching its latest line of flagships amidst the Coronavirus scare that has gripped the entire world. For instance, the organization unveiled the P40 smartphones a day after the company’s founder declared that more than 90% of the organization’s China-based employees had returned to work. But according to experts, the demand for these smartphones will likely remain weak outside of its home country in the short term. They say many customers and companies are focused on buying laptops, PCs and tablets if they are choosing to spend any money.
“Phones are not a preference and certainly not superior ones”, said Marta Pinto from IDC. The consumption confidence of people is falling because they are more worried about buying things like groceries and whether they will be left with a job. Even if people are still buying, because they need to work from home, they will probably buy a laptop and monitor. Or because children need to go to online for education, they might buy them a tablet or workbook.
The new smartphones were unveiled online via video feed rather than a massive event that Huawei typically hosts. Unlike previous year’s devices, the P40 smartphones lack Google services – including its Maps, YouTube and Play Store apps, and Google Assistant – because of the trade ban by the US. That makes them a tough sale outside of China, where Android smartphones come preinstalled.
But according to a source, a company-watcher suggested that the organization might actually be in a more suitable place to deal with the results of COVID-19 than its rivals. “The company already lacks in business outside of China, and had survived in a very difficult trading environment for the next year or two,” said Ben Wood from CCS Insight. Therefore, it is other smartphone makers that have a higher shock to deal with. LG and Sony’s phone divisions, in precise, were sub-scale and may not survive.
And don’t forget that a large number of Huawei’s sales are still coming from its home business in China, where it’s been marketing over 40 million units quarterly. The market is recovering faster than others having already endured the virus and seems to be getting out the other side.