By Wan Xu and Don Durfee
BEIJING, July 6 Huawei Technologies Co Ltd , the world's No. 2 network equipment maker, aims to ship 20 million smartphones this year, an executive said on Wednesday, higher than an earlier target as it makes an aggressive push into the consumer devices sector.
The Shenzhen-based company said in April that it expected to ship 12 million to 15 million smartphones, which run on Google's Android operating system, this year. Last year, it shipped 3.3 million units.
"Our original target this year was at 12-15 million units globally," Victor Xu, chief strategy and marketing officer of Huawei Device, told reporters on the sidelines of a company event.
"Currently, based on the sales in the first half of this year, sales in the domestic market might have already exceeded this figure. Therefore, we think probably that could be around 20 million units globally."
Huawei Device, which contributes about 17 percent to Huawei's overall revenue of 185 billion yuan ($28 billion), is a division within the group that sells consumer devices, such as cellphones, tablet PCs and wireless cards.
Huawei, founded by Ren Zhengfei who served in the People's Liberation Army, and smaller rival ZTE Corp , China's No. 2 network gear maker, have been unveiling smartphones to compete with Apple's iPhone and Samsung Electronics's Galaxy.
Xu said Huawei, which is trying to drum up its marketing globally by taking part in events, such as an exhibition in fashion capital Milan and other cities, now ranks No. 5 in terms of global market share in the Android smartphones sector.
It plans to ship 170 million to 200 million units of products this year, including more than 60 million cellphones this year, Xu said on Wednesday, but he did not provide other details.
Xu had said earlier this year Huawei planned to become No. 3 in terms of cellphone shipments.
In another effort to capture the consumer sector, Huawei unveiled in Singapore its MediaPad, a 7-inch Android-based tablet PC, and is developing a 10-inch device to be launched this year.
Currently, Apple dominates the tablet PC market sector with a whopping 80 percent share. (Writing by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)