INTERVIEW - Huawei makes aggressive push in consumer devices

A general view shows the headquarters of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in Shenzhen, Guangdong province June 29, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

SHENZHEN (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world’s No.2 network equipment maker, aims to ship 60 million cell phone handsets this year, doubling from last year as it makes an aggressive drive in the feature-filled mobile devices space with smartphones and tablet PCs, a senior executive said.

Huawei is betting on Google Inc’s Android operating system for its smartphones, a fast-growing sector in which Apple Inc’s iPhone, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s Galaxy and others are competing for market share.

“In the global Android cell phone sector, we are already in the top five and we’re targeting sales of our smartphones this year at 12-15 million, about 20-25 percent of our cell phone shipments,” Victor Xu, chief strategy and marketing officer of Huawei Device, told Reuters.

Huawei Device is a division of Huawei Technologies that makes cell phones, smartphones and tablet PCs.

Huawei aimed to become the third-largest cell phone maker in the next three years, Xu said in an interview in Shenzhen’s Hi-Tech Park.

Last year, it shipped about 30 million cell phones, of which 3.3 million units were smartphones, to markets such as Japan, the United States and Europe, Xu said.

Huawei was also make inroads in the tablet PC sector, shipping 200,000 units to the United States and Australia, and aiming to lift shipments to 1 million this year, he said.

Revenue from Huawei’s devices division rose by a quarter to 30.75 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) last year, contributing 17 percent to Huawei Technologies’ total revenue.

ZTE Corp, Huawei’s smaller and closest Chinese rival, said in March that global smartphone sales would likely rise to 12 million units from just 3 million in 2010, partly driven by the launch of lower-priced handsets.

Editing by Chris Lewis