In 2015 fall product announcement, Google announced two smartphones: the Nexus 5X made by LG; and Nexus 6P, a high-end phone manufactured by Huawei. After finding HTC, Samsung, LG, Asus and Motorola, why did Google choose a Chinese mobile phone OEM to build its flagship 2015 Android smartphone?
As a Chinese phone manufacturer, Huawei not just ranks in the top three of local smartphone market, taking up to 18.7% of the market share, it also sells well in many countries, like Spain, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Egypt and more. However, for US users, it is still not a well-know brand yet. It would be a great opportunity for Huawei to break into the US smartphone market for manufacturing Google’s Nexus 6P.
On the other hand, Google needs China’s consumers to continue its global domination. Apple and non-Google versions of Android are doing quite well in China and continuing to grow, without Google. Android phones with Google Mobile Services aren’t growing, because they can’t. Google services are blocked by The Great Firewall of China. Google needs a way to break into the Chinese market. Even Sundar Pichai himself showed interest last winter stating that “it would be a privilege to serve Chinese users” and that hopefully Google would have a chance to offer their services to Chinese users sometime in the future.
Besides the basic reason to compete for more users in US and China market for both brands, there are several other positive factors that Huawei have the ability to manufacturer Google Nexus 6P:
- The quality of Chinese phone manufacturing is accepted by international smartphone manufacturers. For the standard phone of Android hardware, Google is very selective in cooperators’ design and phone capacity, the former cooperators, such as HTC, Samsung, LG, Asus and Motorola, all have a good reputation in hardware design, smartphone manufacturing and quality control. It is obvious that Huawei has made a big progress in high-end smartphone recently, the flagship Mate 7 is a sign for Huawei to change from quantity to quality and sold up to four million in six months, which has a strong impact on Samsung’s Galaxy series smartphones.
- Huawei’s phone technology and patents also plays an important role. As a technique-drive American Internet giant, Google is very strict with manufacturers’ technology and patents, any smartphone manufacturers that might be accused for patent issues never have an opportunity joining the Nexus phone. But for Huawei, which makes the majority of its money from networking equipment, patent is not a problem. The company has spent over 1.2 billion on mobile phone development and becomes the campaign to apply for international patents. And in US, Huawei has been the top 50 for patent licensing.
- As a phone brand, Huawei becomes well known in the international stage. In May, Huawei ranks 16th of the globe’s top 100 most valued technology brands by Brand Z, which values Huawei over $15.3 billion.
This is really a double win for both Huawei and Google. With this cooperation, Huawei take a big step into International brand in high-end smartphones, not just for US market; having one of China’s largest OEMs sell an Android phone with Google Mobile Services and the Google Play store would certainly be a win for Google in China.