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Huawei Plans to Catch Up to Apple in Smartphone Market

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co., China’s biggest maker of phone-network equipment, said it plans to overtake Apple Inc. in the world smartphone market in the coming two to three years as it introduces new technologies.

The company plans to raise its market share to more than 25 percent “in the longer term” from about 7 percent now, said Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer unit. Apple had 12 percent in the second quarter and Samsung Electronics Co. 25 percent, according to IDC. All smartphone makers except Apple, Samsung and Huawei will struggle to stay in the market, he said.

“Three or four vendors will survive, the rest will disappear,” Yu said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday at the IFA fair in Berlin.

In a direct challenge to its rivals, Huawei yesterday presented the Ascend Mate 7 smartphone, whose 6-inch screen is larger than that of new Samsung devices presented at IFA, as well as new Apple devices set to be unveiled next week. The metal-cased Huawei phone’s physical volume is a third less than that of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, according to Shao Yang, vice president of marketing for Huawei’s consumer unit.

The device will retail starting at 499 euros ($650) this month in various European and Asian markets. It will probably be sold in North America next year, Yang said on Sept. 3. Huawei’s other new phone is the 5.5-inch-screen Ascend G7, which will cost 299 euros.

“We’re trying to break out of tier two,” which includes peers such as Sony Corp. and LG Electronics Inc. “and break into tier one” to take on Apple and Samsung, Yang said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cornelius Rahn in Berlin at crahn2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net Joshua Fellman, Jillian Ward

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