Huawei First-Half Smartphone Sales Leap 39% on Premium Devices

Huawei Technologies Co. increased first-half smartphone sales 39 percent as demand for high-end devices helped defy a slowdown in the Chinese market.

China’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment sold 48.2 million smartphones in the first six months of the year, according to an e-mailed statement Wednesday. Shipments of mid- and high-end devices surged 70 percent, the Shenzhen-based company said.

Sales of smartphones in China contracted in the March quarter, the first decline since 2008, with annual shipment growth projected to slow to just 4.4 percent from 2014 to 2019, according to researcher house IDC. The market had grown at an average of 88.8 percent over the past five years.

Huawei’s shipments compare with Apple Inc.’s sales of 47.5 million iPhones in the June quarter alone. Huawei trails Apple, Samsung Electronics Co. and Lenovo Group Ltd. in global smartphone sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

On Monday, Huawei said its first-half sales rose 30 percent to 175.9 billion yuan ($28.3 billion).

The company, founded in 1987 by former army engineer Ren Zhengfei, is one of several Chinese smartphone makers vying with Apple and Samsung for supremacy in a hotly contested global market for mobile devices.

Huawei this year took the wraps off its first smartwatch, accelerated a global marketing campaign and made inroads into European countries such as Spain and Italy.

Revenue in its consumer business group surged 69 percent to $9.09 billion in the first half, accounting for almost a third of the company’s total sales, it said.

Of that total, handset revenue climbed 87 percent to $7.23 billion, it said.

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