Huawei Inches toward expansion into Korean smartphone market

PHILIPPINE: Chinese handset manufacturer Huawei has set its sights on making its debut in the South Korean smartphone market. The company is currently testing its Honor 6 device on Korea’s LG Uplus network. Chinese telecom device maker Huawei will reportedly build a research and development center in South Korea.

But while Huawei officials confirmed that its flagship device is being tested in Korea, they would not if it means the company is looking to expand into the country, according to CNET. Should it move forward and introduce a device to Korea, Huawei would be the first Chinese brand to do so. To date, Korea’s smartphone market is dominated by local entrants, with Samsung leading pack and followed by LG and Pantech (although it is facing bankruptcy and a tough economic outlook). Currently, the Honor 6 carries a price tag of US$369, which the news provider points out is nearly half of what Samsung and LG’s flagship models retail for.

But China dwarfs both South Korea and Japan, so a manufacturer like Huawei that has success at home benefits instantly from scale. According to our Mobile and Connected Devices Forecast & Monitor, the China smartphone market today is more than half the size of what the total global handset market was in 2003 – when Samsung and LG started stepping out of their home market.
This progression is an example of what the economist Schumpeter called the ‘creative destruction’ of the capitalist system and there is really nothing to do except lament the passing of one’s favorite brand and wonder if this process has an end state. At the country level there just might be – only India is close to being the same scale as China – but brands will come and go. Today it is Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi. Tomorrow it will be some brand we have not yet heard from.”