China's Huawei sees 160 per cent increase in southeast Asia smartphone shipments
China's Huawei Technologies, the world's No. 2 telecom equipment maker, expects total shipments of smartphones in southeast Asia to rise 160 per cent to 8 million units in 2015, boosted by strong demand in Myanmar, it said on Thursday.
In the first quarter, Huawei posted a 120 per cent increase in smartphone shipments in the region, one of the most promising markets in the world, Thomas Liu, President for Huawei's southeast Asian consumer business group, told reporters.
Liu was in Bangkok on Thursday to launch its flagship P8 smartphones in Thailand, the second largest market in southeast Asia.
Myanmar, once one of the world's least-connected nations, has grown to become Huawei's biggest market in the region, with a share of more than 50 per cent, Liu said.
To tap strong growth in the region, the Shenzhen-based company aims to work closely with local partners and distributors and plans to open up to 1,500 customer service centres, Kevin Ho, president for the handset product line, said.
The launch of P8, which runs on Google's Android operating system, is likely to spark fiercer competition in the Thai handset market.
Earlier this month, China's Xiaomi joined with Thailand's largest mobile operator Advanced Info Service to sell its first smartphone, dubbed the Xiaomi Mi4, online in the country.
Market researcher IDC said on Thursday it expects sales of smartphones in Thailand to grow by 29 per cent to boost the number of smartphone users to 36 million by the end of this year.