Huawei Romania’s sales of smartphones increased by 48 percent year-on-year in the first half, to 130,000 units, according to a report that cited the country manager of Huawei Devices Romania, Sorina Macarescu. In spite of the increase in sales, the average selling price for handsets is declining, Huawei said. Mobile operators represent the most important sales channel for the company, Macarescu said. Huawei’s smartphone models are offered by all Romanian mobile operators—Orange Romania, Vodafone Romania, Telekom Romania Mobile Communications and RCS & RDS’ Digi Mobil.
The success of Huawei indicates a salient fact about today’s global smartphone market—that as technologies develop, budget-priced devices are closing the gap with high-priced premium devices like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy in terms of features and reliability. Huawei has been particularly aggressive in expanding beyond China and other Asian markets into the rest of the world. In Romania, a less-affluent European market, Huawei’s smartphones have clearly taken on a dominant role. The lesson for mobile operators, in Romania as elsewhere, is that they can expect to rely less and less on smartphone sales as a revenue driver in the future. In this particular market, for example, prices are falling even as sales are rising. However, while low-priced devices will drive less revenue in terms of sales, they will drive revenue in the long term by virtue of their ability to increase demand for data among a widening user base.