MWC 2011: Huawei Is Not Low Cost!
During a booth tour Wednesday, Alix Khadiri, a product marketing manager from France, was adamant that being low cost is not Huawei's strategy. Khadiri, who focuses on retail distribution, said the Ideos S7 tablet costs between US$250 and $300 at Best Buy, nearly half of what some tablets on the market cost, but he insisted that's not inexpensive. He's seen cheaper.
Khadiri wants to dispel the notion that Chinese vendors make low-cost wares, because lower prices are typically associated with low quality. Instead, he suggested the strength of Huawei's partners, including Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), its technology focus and innovation as other ways to define its strategy. Huawei wants to gain carriers' and customers' trust and prove it's in it for the long haul.
It's understandable that Huawei is trying to distance itself from images of low-quality devices, but there's no denying that it is cheaper than most of its competitors. For reasons Light Reading Mobile has outlined in the past, that may not be a bad thing -- at least for now while it breaks into the U.S. and Western Europe. (See ZTE Sees Mobile Growth in the US & Europe.)
If it's not going to market itself as a good value (not low-cost) brand, than it will need a clearer differentiator to emphasize. Right now, there's not much besides that price tag to set its tablets and smartphones apart.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile