China’s Huawei see Europe as stepping stone in Samsung/Apple rivalry

Huawei the world’s No.3 smartphone maker, will use the launch of a new flagship phone in Paris on Tuesday to make fresh gains in Europe. (REUTERS)
Updated 27 March 2018
0

China’s Huawei see Europe as stepping stone in Samsung/Apple rivalry

PARIS/LONDON: Huawei the world’s No.3 smartphone maker, will use the launch of a new flagship phone in Paris on Tuesday to make fresh gains in Europe, a region where it has made strides against rivals Samsung Electronics and Apple.
With camera-rich features and starting prices that analysts expect to be aggressive, the P20 series represent Huawei’s fresh attempt to compete head-to-head with Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X in the increasingly look-alike market for smartphones.
The P20 premium version, P20 Pro, comes with a triple camera and sensors that offer top-notch image definition among existing smartphones, Huawei said, in a clear response to camera upgrades for the Galaxy S9 unveiled in Barcelona last month.
The region is a lynchpin of the Chinese company’s ambition eventually to become the world’s No.2 phone supplier. Europe has been insulated from some of the intense competitive pressures Huawei faces from domestic rivals in its home market.
“The challenge for Huawei is to strengthen its brand personality and to steal more market share in Europe, given its absence from the US market,” said Thomas Husson, a consumer devices analyst at research firm Forrester.
“In this regard, the choice of Paris to launch a new flagship smartphone is quite new and interesting.”
Shipments to Europe grew more than 50 percent in the first half of 2017, Huawei has said. In two big smartphone markets – Italy and Spain – Huawei now ships more phones than Samsung or Apple, according to market research firm Counterpoint.
Huawei commanded 23 percent of the Italian market in the fourth quarter, for example.
Across Western Europe Huawei’s market share has risen in recent years to 12 percent, Counterpoint Research estimates.
Huawei’s weakest European markets are Britain, with 5 percent share and France, where it ships 6 percent of the smartphones sold here, but it is seeking to build its presence.
Still, it has begun to face more competition in Europe from a resurgent Nokia phones, run by HMD Global, and Chinese rival Xiaomi (IPO-XMGP.HK), Counterpoint analyst Peter Richardson said.
The market share gains on the continent have helped Huawei offset the company’s exclusion from the world’s most profitable market for phone sellers, the United States.
Targeting Huawei, the chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission said last week it planned to take “proactive steps” to ensure the integrity of the country’s communications supply chain.


SpaceX’s first private passenger is Japanese fashion magnate Maezawa

This artist's illustration courtesy of SpaceX obtained September 17, 2018, shows the SpaceX BFR(Big Falcon Rocket)rocket passenger spacecraft. SpaceX is to reveal on September 17, 2018 the identity of the first person it plans to transport around the Moon in an ambitious project financed entirely by its eccentric CEO Elon Musk. (AFP)
Updated 18 September 2018
0

SpaceX’s first private passenger is Japanese fashion magnate Maezawa

  • SpaceX in February transfixed a global audience with the successful test launch of its Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world
  • SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-cost reusable Falcon 9 rockets

HAWTHORNE, California: SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space transportation company, on Monday named its first private passenger as Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa, the founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo.
A former drummer in a punk band, billionaire Maezawa will will take a trip around the moon aboard its forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship, taking the race to commercialize space travel to new heights.
The first passenger to travel to the moon since the United States’ Apollo missions ended in 1972, Maezawa’s identity was revealed at an event Monday evening at the company’s headquarters and rocket factory in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne.
In moves typical of his publicity-seeking style, Musk, who is also the billionaire chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc, had previously teased a few tantalizing details about the trip and the passenger’s identity, but left major questions unanswered.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted a picture of a Japanese flag. He followed that up on Sunday with tweets showing new artist renderings of the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, the super heavy-lift launch vehicle that Musk promises will shuttle the passenger to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars, using the hashtag #OccupyMars.
While the BFR has not been built yet, Musk has said he wants the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024, though his ambitious production targets have been known to slip.
SpaceX plans a lunar orbit mission. It was not clear how much Maezawa paid for the trip.
Maezawa made his fortune by founding the wildly popular shopping site Zozotown. His company Zozo, officially called Start Today Co. Ltd, also offers a made-to-measure service using a polka dot bodysuit, the Zozosuit..
With SpaceX, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, the SpaceX passenger will join a growing list of celebrities and the ultra-rich who have secured seats on flights offered on the under-development vessels.
Those who have signed up to fly on Virgin Galactic sub-orbital missions include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber. A 90-minute flight costs $250,000.
Short sightseeing trips to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket are likely to cost around $200,000 to $300,000, at least to start, Reuters reported in July.
SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-cost reusable Falcon 9 rockets. The company has completed more than 50 successful Falcon launches and snagged billions of dollars’ worth of contracts, including deals with NASA and the US Department of Defense.
SpaceX in February transfixed a global audience with the successful test launch of its Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world.
SpaceX previously announced plans to eventually use Falcon Heavy to launch paying space tourists on a trip around the moon, but Musk said in February he was inclined to reserve that mission for the BFR.