Reuters noted that Huawei has a 10 per cent revenue growth target for 2013 and 2014, and plans to achieve this primarily through an expansion of its smartphone business. Huawei generated around 73 per cent of its 220.2 billion yuan ($36.1 billion) sales last year from network equipment sales, while 22 per cent came from consumer devices. Nearly three-quarters of revenue is earned outside China.
"We're not expecting an explosive development of our smartphone business, rather we want to grow that business step by step," Huawei's deputy chairman and rotating CEO, Eric Xu, told reporters in London, Bloomberg reported. "Ultimately we want to be the leading brand worldwide in smartphones, but it will take a while to get there."
IDC ranked Huawei No. 3 in the global smartphone market after the company shipped 12.5 million units in the third quarter. Samsung Electronics and Apple occupy the top two positions. Smartphones have become increasingly important to the Chinese company as it fights cybersecurity concerns that have restricted its access to the U.S. and Australian markets.
"We don't know if we can keep that spot next quarter and we don't care much about being No. 3 at any given quarter," Bloomberg quoted Xu as saying. "We want to be an athlete in the long run and grow step by step."
R&D will provide the foundations for its future growth, Xu said in a statement.
"While we continue to evolve our existing 4G network capabilities, we plan to invest a minimum of $600 million over the next five years on research and innovation for 5G mobile network technologies to ensure that we are meeting the consumers' demands for increasingly faster and better connections," said Xu.
Xu added that this figure does not include investment to productise "5G" technologies. Huawei predicts that the first "5G" networks will be ready for commercial deployment starting in 2020 and will deliver peak data rates of over 10 Gbps, 100 times faster than today's fastest LTE networks.