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Has Huawei's P20 triggered a review of company's go-to-market strategy in Africa?

Has Huawei's P20 triggered a review of company's go-to-market strategy in Africa?

The availability of Huawei's P20 Lite, P20 and P20 Pro smartphone devices in South Africa, ten days after the global launch in France, has prompted the company to seriously consider reviewing its roll out strategy for Africa.

At the South African launch, hosted in Johannesburg this week, Likun Zhao, General Manager for Huawei Consumer Business Group confirmed that the prospect of coordinated Africa-wide launches (including available stock) is being considered.

"From the sixth of April most of the stores in South Africa will have the devices for sale and for the rest of the continent we will sell them from next month going forward. South Africa is the first in the Africa region, along with other countries like Italy, Germany, Spain, Malaysia and Poland, where the smartphone is available starting this week. We invited customers, partners and media from other African countries to this event, for example Zambia, Mauritius and Kenya. We are looking at ways to shorten the time between launches in South Africa and all the other countries (in Africa)."

Zhao says the effort to harmonise launches across the continent would follow the construction of an African hub in South Africa from where distribution and marketing campaigns will be managed.

Last month Huawei announced plans to build a warehouse in South Africa by the end of Q2 2018 which will manage the delivery of Huawei stock and spare parts.

Zhao added that the flagship P20 models will only be launched in specific countries on the continent because in certain markets, Huawei is focused purely on the lower-to-mid end devices.

Recommended retail prices for the P20 series are R5 999 for the P20 Lite, R12 999 for the P20 and R 15 499 for the P20 Pro.

Akram Mohammed, Product Marketing Director at Huawei SA says the company took time to ensure that the P Series devices are priced appropriately.

"Generally when you look at target markets and segment them, you can do that from a price point or from a technology perspective. I would like to believe that this specified product is not for a niche. We focused on the pricing quite a bit to make it affordable in comparison to other flagships, and we have achieved that. From an innovation perspective it has all the offerings and even more than the other flagships out there. This is a device for everybody."

The Huawei P20 Pro camera is equipped with a 1 x 40MP RGB sensor, 1 x 20MP monochrome sensor, and 1 x 8MP sensor with telephoto lens while the Huawei P20 features a Leica dual camera, with a 12MP RGB + 20MP monochrome camera setup.

Huawei says the P20 series provides on-device AI and the use of machine learning that helps the devices understand the photography habits of users over time and start making suggestions.

The Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro are powered by the Kirin 970 chipset and pre-installed with EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1.

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