What makes my techie husband addicted to a Huawei smartphone

By Wang Wenwen Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/1 14:53:40

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

"Dear, my iPhone doesn't work properly now. Buy me a new one." I played the woman card with my husband, but only got a cold response. 

"I'm not going to buy an iPhone. But I can get you a Huawei."

"You don't love me at all," I grumbled. 

The conversation took place two years ago. Now I use a Huawei smartphone, so does my husband. 

As a journalist, I have been closely watching international trends over the past two years encompassing political, economic or technological fields. The halo around Apple products is fading as Chinese people no longer take owning an iPhone as a totem of status. 

Back in 2013, there were market watchers like Josh Wolonick writing on the financial news website Minyanville that an iPhone "is a symbol of wealth, but also of ability and of a kind of western independence that is taking hold, along with capitalism" in China. But now, not only insiders, but also consumers, have noticed the cluster of domestic brands such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi which own a combined market share of nearly 80 percent. 

My husband is one of the loyal users of Huawei. For him, there is a wide array of devices to choose from, be the latest and greatest and more affordable options. As an IT professional, what he cares about a smartphone is its user-friendliness. 

The one he is using now is the Huawei P10 Plus, one of the brand's 2017 flagships. The highlights include a 5.5-inch QHD screen, a dual-lens camera and, according to him, a solid octa-core chipset. It lacks features like water resistance and wireless charging, but for someone who just uses a few apps and the camera often, the design and functions are enough. And the battery life, though not great, is much better than what the iPhone provides.

My husband is certainly one of those who do not pursue the latest or the most expensive handset. But there are a lot of Chinese who do, and this is where Huawei creates its own kingdom. In recent years, Huawei has been working on smartphones offering attractive design, better hardware and high-end software to cater to the needs of an increasing number of China's middle classes.

For business people, many features of iPhones cannot meet their demands. This is also the reason for Huawei gaining popularity. No wonder late last year, a Shanghai-based research company found out that Chinese Huawei users are generally more educated and make more money than iPhone users. 

As a journalist, I'd also like to dig deeper into reasons behind my husband's addiction to a Huawei. The company he works for is one of the many private tech start-ups in China. Now the flourishing tech industry is the driving force behind the country's digital transformation and is believed to rival the Silicon Valley. The company culture, which encourages diligence and innovation, is embedded in the minds of employees. 

This explains why innovative products keep coming from a company as diligent as Huawei, such as 2018 flagship models Mate 20 and 20 Pro which have three rear cameras. In contrast, iPhone users have got fed up with the same software interface design in all its upgrades since iPhone 4. Before every high-profile launch of a new iPhone, fans were thrilled, but they only ended up without getting many new features except the unreasonably high price.

As an insider in the tech sector, my husband believes that Huawei's success does not come out of nothing and is proud of the emerging domestic technologies. When I told him about my analysis of his fondness for Huawei, he agreed saying, "I just choose what is right for me."

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. wangwenwen@globaltimes.com.cn

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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