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Huawei targets 30% jump in 2019 smartphone shipments

Europe and China seen to offset US market setback, company official says

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, shows off the company's 5G-capable foldable smartphone at MWC19 Barcelona on Feb. 24.   © Reuters

BARCELONA, Spain -- Huawei Technologies expects to ship between 250 million and 260 million smartphones in 2019, up 20% to 30% from a year ago, an executive of the Chinese maker said on Monday.

European and Chinese markets are driving this optimism, despite U.S.-led moves to restrict use of Huawei's telecommunications equipment, said Richard Yu, CEO of the company's Consumer Business Group.

Yu was speaking to reporters at MWC19 Barcelona, one of the world's largest mobile technology shows, which opened the same day.

Despite the sluggish global smartphone market -- which shrank for the second consecutive year in 2018 -- Yu said there is still potential for growth.

Huawei aims to use new technologies to drive demand, and is planning to introduce its new 5G-capable foldable smartphone in mid-2019, the CEO said, adding that it took Huawei three years to develop the device.

People are using smartphones for longer hours and for multiple purposes, including games. Yu said foldable phones have the right size screens, yet are easy to carry.

According to U.S. research company IDC, Huawei ranked third globally in the 2018 smartphone market with a 14.7% share, trailing only Samsung Electronics at 20.8% and Apple at 14.9%.

Yu said Huawei is technologically ahead of Samsung and can overtake the South Korean maker in market share.

He also added that Apple's iPhones are very expensive but have contributed to the American maker's impressive sales figures, indicating Huawei's willingness to beef up its high-end product lineup.

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