Huawei knows it can’t go it alone when it comes to breaking into the U.S. smartphone market.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week, Huawei’s head of consumer electronics Richard Yu said a partnership with U.S. carriers will be key to making a successful entrance.
“In the U.S. market, people get smartphones mainly from the carriers,” Yu said. “We will need to cooperate with them to promote our Huawei brand flagship smartphone.”
The statement comes as Huawei looks to boost growth in the United States and Japan in a bid to surpass both Apple and Samsung as the dominant global smartphone brand.
Yu told the Journal Huawei is currently “maybe a little behind” in those two markets, but has seen fast growth in both China and Europe. Yu said Huawei will “need some time to build our capability” in the United States, but believes the company can offer U.S. consumers “better innovation and the best user experience.”
According to Yu, Huawei is looking to surpass Apple and Samsung in the next four to five years and is hoping to corner 20 percent to 25 percent of the market share in the same timeframe.
Yu’s statements support comments made by Huawei’s rotating CEO Eric Xu in April. At the time, Xu said Huawei is aiming to become China’s first high-end consumer brand in the next five to ten years.
According to April shipment and market share figures from International Data Corporation (IDC), Huawei gained ground on Apple in the first quarter 2016. IDC numbers show Huawei snagged 8.2 percent of the market share during the quarter, up from 5.2 percent while Apple’s market share dropped from 18.3 percent in the first quarter 2015 to 15.3 percent in the same quarter a year later.
A similar report from TrendForce also showed Huawei making market share gains on Apple in the first quarter.
In 2015, Huawei became the first Chinese smartphone-maker to pass the 100 million unit mark for smartphone shipments in a given year with a total of 108 million units shipped. That figure compared with 320 million units shipped by Samsung and 227 million devices shipped by Apple the same year.