Huawei sees itself back on “the throne of smartphones” despite the embargo

One of Huawei’s rotating presidents says his company intends to sit on the “smartphone throne” (the world’s number one spot) despite the American embargo which greatly weakens it.

Metaphor of Huawei sitting on the Iron Throne // Source: Frandroid editing (quickly) based on an image from Game of Thrones

Do not lose hope, or in any case do not show it publicly. Despite the very complicated situation in which it has found itself since May 2019, Huawei is keen to show that it still has a lot of ambition in the smartphone market. The brand even bluntly states that it aims to take – or regain – the leading position in the industry.

As a reminder, since the executive order signed by ex-President Donald Trump, Washington has prevented Huawei from working with United States companies such as Google. The brand’s smartphones can no longer take advantage of the Play Store, among other things. That’s not all: foreign suppliers using American technologies are also no longer allowed to supply Huawei with components.

Huawei wants to sit on the throne

Guo Ping, one of the rotating presidents of the Chinese group, is well aware of the extent of the problem. During a question-and-answer session with employees of the brand – the transcript of which was consulted by Reuters –, the leader confesses: “everyone knows that phone chips need advanced technology in a small size with low power consumption. Huawei can design them, but no one can help us make them: we’re stuck“.

However, he says that this major concern is not impossible to solve.

Huawei is allowed to exist in the field of mobile phones, and with continued advancements in chip production, the smartphone throne will eventually return.

At the time, everything was fine

During the few years preceding the embargo, Huawei was indeed progressing at full speed in the ranking of the world’s largest manufacturers. He had managed to regularly settle in second place constantly threatening the leader Samsung. In 2020, even after being hit by the American sanction, the Chinese group, carried by its momentum, even briefly invited itself to first place on the podium. This was proof that if the United States had not interfered, the Shenzhen firm would have been a very serious contender for the position of world number one.

Huawei flagship store in Paris
The Huawei flagship store in Paris // Source: Frandroid

However, Huawei’s concerns today are quite different. By its own admission, the brand seeks above all to survive in the mobile phone sector after having disappeared from the Top 5 in the world.

Huawei accused of spying

As a reminder, the United States accuses Huawei of being in the pay of the Chinese government and of carrying out, in this context, espionage operations by taking advantage of its 5G infrastructures.

Huawei has always denied this, but even the change of administration in favor of President Joe Biden in the White House does not change anything for the moment. Thus, to gain more independence, the Chinese firm is developing its own HarmonyOS operating system – especially on smartphones – which it tries to make visible to as many people as possible.

To this expectation, the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, believed that Huawei should “dare to dominate the world” with HarmonyOS.

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