I know this article may ruffle the die hard Samsung fans but what we are gonna witness over the next 1-3 years is the changing of the guard. I wrote in a previous article that the Caribbean smartphone market resembles the Asian market rather than the American market (Click here for the Caribbean/Asian Market article). In America, device subsidy is the crux of all smartphone purchase decisions.
There is a small percentage of devices that make it across the seas, and when they do, that market tends to purchase devices based on whether or not they can sign a contract and get it for peanuts. So a purchase like an S8 is perfectly fine, but here in the Caribbean, it’s a completely different ball game.
While we have seen an increase in production costs for the S8 and now the rumoured iPhone 8, one has to wonder when will it simply just not make sense for us to purchase these devices here and what will our options be?
There are ample reasons why Samsung & Apple do not sell well in the Asian markets as they do in the American markets. With the Indian market about to overtake the USA as the 2nd largest smartphone market, companies like Huawei are positioning themselves for a takeover. We have broken down the top 5 reasons why Huawei will be better for the Caribbean than Samsung could ever be.
1.Better Quality – While Samsungs S line and Note line are 2 of the most iconic product lines to ever come out and revolutionise smartphones, Huawei has had a few years of consistency over all of their product lines. Huawei has produced the HiSilicon Kirin CPU that rivals and beats the Snapdragon chips on occasion. More people are raving about the Kirin than we have done over the Exynos processors.
The better chipsets also give a better quality performance to the mid-range and budget devices. Huawei has put together a well-rounded product line in the P, Honor, Mate, Nova, G series. Samsungs product line is rather top-heavy, sure the S line and Note line are great, but it’s hard to consider anything else.
2. Superior Mid-Range & Budget – It all starts with the processors, and Huawei has been creating cpus that are arguably the best on the market. They have also found ways to create quality devices in the mid-range and budget field. While Samsung saves all the stops for their top lines and offers software support for them, everything else tends to get left behind.
Samsung has been notorious for pumping out a way to many devices instead of focusing on a core lineup and maintaining them. Take the Huawei Honor 8, that was fitted with the Kirin 950, an equivalent device for Samsung would be the Samsung A7(2016 model). The Kirin 950’s power stacks up to the Exynos 8890 which is the processor found in the Samsung S7. You read right, Huawei’s mid-range device has enough power to go up against the S7.
The Honor 8 has received the Nougat update while the A7 users will have to upgrade to the A7 2017 model for the software upgrade. Have you ever taken a look at the Honor series designs? They are hands down some of they most beautiful pieces of hardware ever designed. This is their MID RANGE device we are talking about. Quality devices that will fit people’s budgets in the Caribbean will always make for more sales, especially since we do not have device subsidy like other markets.
3) Better Pricing – Given the fact that we are going through some economic pains at the moment, it is hard for people to fork out $6000ttd for a top device. Somewhere along the line, the first question I get when a customer is asking for a phone is they don’t want to have to give a pound of flesh for a quality device. So is the mindset now, that in order to get a good device, one must spend over $4000ttd.
The Samsung A7(2016) can still be found online going for $320usd/$2200ttd, while the Honor 8 can be found for $280usd/$1800ttd. If the Honor 8 is too much money, you can still get the Honor 8 Lite for $200usd/$1300ttd. The Huawei Nova 1 sells for $215usd/$1400ttd, while the Samsung A3 (2016) goes for $225usd/$1500ttd and the A5 (2016) goes for $255usd/$1700ttd.
I implore you to click this link (Nova Vs A3 Vs A5) and look at the comparison of the Huawei Nova Vs A3 Vs A5. The Nova is not only cheaper and more powerful than both, 1 phone beats out 2 phones from 2 of Samsungs different product lines.
4) Overpriced or Underpowered – Which leads us to our next point. Samsungs tactics have been clear over the years, flood the market with as product as possible. The problem is it’s too many devices to maintain, add in Androids software segmentation among the different markets and carriers, and it doesn’t create the best scenario for good quality products and support.
As I said earlier, Samsung’s product lines have become top heavy. If you want the best from Samsung, you have the S-series or the Note-series, and it’s usually equipped with bleeding edge tech or new gimmicks depending on your view. They have earned the right to demand top dollar for these devices. The mid-range and budget devices become real shaky in 2017.
The battle is no longer for the top specced device, the battle amongst companies rages in full force between who can create the best mid-range and budget phones. Smartphones are becoming too expensive for most, and Google has come out and said that the next billion smartphone sales won’t be in the flagship territory but in the mid to budget. It doesn’t take much effort to find a million better options than any Samsung device outside of the top devices.
While their crème of the crop demands top dollar, the rest are usually underpowered with a lack of support to warrant much if any attention in 2017. With Huawei making monsters like the Honor series offering power, style, value for great prices, one wonders how long before Huawei takes over the Caribbean.
5) Better Options – I like to stress to people, there is nothing wrong with picking up a Samsung S8 or any of its Note devices, once you’re getting them at a good price and that’s getting harder in the Caribbean. The Asian markets prefer purchasing devices that are cheaper without a contract, rather than getting big discounts on 1 device and be locked into a contract.
Since our service providers force us to take larger monthly plans to get discounts on devices, in never makes sense for the average customer to purchase from Digicel or Bmobile. Huawei has been hard at work in creating amazing devices. That’s not to say there aren’t other companies worthy of attention, it’s just that Huawei is currently in the Caribbean markets and deserves more attention as a viable option to purchasing a Samsung device.
iPhone gets a pass, simply because if you want iOs, you can only get that through an iPhone. With regards to Android, however, the market is as competitive as ever. Samsung loses every battle hands down outside of the flagship conversation. There are simply better options for cheaper and more powerful.
** Bonus ** Huawei is also the company who has built Bmobile’s cell towers. This also allows for Huawei devices in theory to work better on their network than another brand of smartphone.
Well, those are our top 5 reasons why we believe Huawei has what it takes to supplant Samsung as the number smartphone brand in the Caribbean. Other notables would be Lenovo/Motorola, ZTE, Xiaomi, Oppo, Oneplus.
The advantage for Huawei is they have seen the Caribbean as a viable market and have entered our market space. I’m sure you may start to see less Samsung posters and Huawei everywhere in due time.