* Analysts predict Huawei will become Apple’s biggest competitor
* Chinese brand is known for its “iPhone 7 clones”
* Apple’s integrated software and hardware platform attributed to their advantage
Chinese smartphone company, Huawei, gained attention recently for launching iPhone and Android “knockoffs,” comparable to their name-brand counterparts — namely the iPhone 7 and Galaxy s8 — but with an affordable price tag. According to some business analysts, Samsung’s current standing as Apple’s biggest competitor in the smartphone sector, may be short-lived, as more affordable smartphone options like Huawei’s become available to consumers. White stated on CNBC’s tech program Squawk Alley, that he predicts Huawei will overthrow Samsung and take the lead as the primary Android provider and Apple’s number one competitor in the near future.
Huawei’s most recent smartphone launches, the P10 and P10 Plus have been dubbed “iPhone 7 clones.” According to many reports and consumer reviews, Huawei’s smart phones are remarkably similar in terms of both design, engineering, and user experience quality. The P10 and P10 plus phones are even available in identical colors identical to Apple’s beloved metallic hues and their newest addition, rose gold. Huawei also recently launched their Android smartphone, the Nexus 6P.
According to White, these knock off iPhones and Androids are just the beginning of lesser-known companies creating more affordable versions of name brand smartphones to fill an existing gap in the current market and to meet consumers’ needs for more affordable smartphone options in which design, quality and aesthetic appeal are not compromised.
And while Huawei’s initial source of inspiration was borrowed from Apple, White predicts that Samsung’s luxury line of androids is up next. He tells Squawk Valley, “I do expect the Chinese to knock off Samsung and that’s probably going to be Huawei.” While Apple’s sales have not yet been jeopardized by Huawei’s P10 smartphones, Samsung may not have a strong chance in maintaining market competition against a more affordable options, giving Huawei the upper-hand in the Android market. “I see it as a Huawei-Apple fight in the future, Samsung and probably some smaller competitors underneath them,” explains White.
It has also been suggested that Samsung’s presumably dim future may not be due to price factors alone. Venture investor Hans Tung suggests that Samsung’s failure to excite consumers about product launches to the same degree that Apple has been able to do, may be another factor in their eventual demise. Even more troubling says Tung, is Apple’s advantage over Samsung with regard to hardware and software integration. Unlike Samsung and Huawei, Apple makes both its own software and hardware, which ultimately results in a “superior consumer experience.”
Ultimately, it seems impossible for any other smartphone brand to compete with Apple’s superb branding and marketing. Unfortunately, Samsung’s brand identity is just not as cemented into culture as Apple’s, and the company has not been able to manufacture the same degree of hype surrounding their products that Apple receives organically. This alone makes Samsung vulnerable to losing consumers to lesser known competitors.