With Huawei out of the frame, Chinese smartphone rivals take the spotlight at MWC

Chinese smartphone rivals take the spotlight at MWC without Huawei

March 3, 2022: -Huawei phone’s pain has been fellow Chinese smartphone makers’ gain at the most prominent mobile trade show of the year.

Smaller Chinese smartphone brands like Oppo, Honor, and Realme made a splash at Mobile World Congress this week with a slew of new device launches and aggressive international expansion plans.

Oppo has also launched its new flagship Find X5 Pro. This high-end device features a white ceramic back with a sleek pump that houses a camera unit developed by Swedish manufacturer Hasselblad.

The Oppo Find X5 Pro starts at 1,299 euros ($1,445), while two affordable models, the Find X5 Lite and Find X5, will retail at 999 euros and 499 euros, respectively.

“Oppo is well-positioned to take Huawei’s position as a leading Android challenger to Samsung,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight.

“The company needs to double down on its marketing to drive consumer awareness of its brand and products.”

Huawei is a shadow of its former self. The company’s smartphone division has shrunk significantly due to U.S. sanctions that blocked the company from sourcing key semiconductor equipment and software, which includes the licensed version of Google’s Android operating system.

That’s given domestic rivals such as Oppo, Honor, and Realme a chance to shine in Europe and other international markets that promise fast growth and sizable audiences for alternatives to iPhone.

This week, Realme has launched the GT 2 Pro, its first debut of a premium smartphone beyond its market.

Developed in partnership with Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa, the handset is made from a biopolymer material that’s meant to feel, such as paper, and, according to the firm, is environmentally friendly.

The GT 2 Pro will retail for $800, while a standard version will cost nearly $600.

“In the European market, and any other market, we position ourselves as providing affordable phones with outstanding performance and trendy design,” Realme CEO Sky Li told CNBC

in the previous week.

Chinese tech conglomerate BBK Electronics own both Oppo and Realme. They’re competing with fellow Chinese firms Xiaomi, which was not launched a new flagship at this year’s MWC, and Samsung and Apple.

Meanwhile, Honor launched the Honor Magic4 Pro, a new flagship device that the firm says can reach a full charge within 30 minutes.

The Magic4 Pro will begin at 1,100 euros, while a less expensive Magic 4 will cost 900 euros.

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