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Huawei together with local retailers to sell the flagship smartphones in Brazil

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on Tuesday launched two high-end smartphone devices in Brazil, making its second attempt to penetrate to the fourth largest smartphone market, broadening its presence in Latin America.

FILE PHOTO: A worker stands next to the logo of Huawei in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

“We are in a very different market share position than we were five years ago and we have seen a tremendous brand momentum,” Ketrina Dunagan, Huawei’s vice-president of marketing for the Americas, said in an interview on the sidelines of the launch event in Sao Paulo.

Both devices, the P30-Pro and P30-Lite, will be available to eight online and brick and mortar channels May 17, she said, adding the proposed prices are 2,499 reais ($638) and 5,499 reais ($1,403), respectively.

Local retailers Magazine Luiza, Via Varejo, B2W, Fast Shop and mobile service provider Telefonica Brasil will be among those who sell the phones, according to Dunagan.

P30-Series handsets will be imported from China at first, but Huawei is considering local production to match demand as it’s needed.

“Our first priority is delivering of this latest innovation of the Brazilian consumer as quickly as we can, but we are hiring people locally to manage the business here and determine what is necessary to ensure our success in Brazil,” Dunagan said.

The world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer first started with a smartphone in Brazil in 2014, but the simplification of the Ascend P7 handset met with a weak demand and the project was discontinued.

Dunagan declined to provide projected sales estimates for the P30 Series in Brazil, but said the marketing efforts will be initially focused in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.

Also the sales of smartphones in Brazil is expected to be 4.3 per cent to 42.5 million units this year, according to research firm IDC Brasil, after a 6.8 percent decrease in 2018.

But Huawei is deploying these new models to attract increasingly sophisticated buyers, potentially challenging Samsung Electronics Co and Lenovo Group, the brand Motorola, which currently dominate the local market of smartphones.

“Brazil is very unique and a huge market for smartphones … Although the overall size of the market is not growing, the premium segment with more than 3,000 reais grows,” Dunagan said.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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