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Huawei to dump low-cost phones, eyes the mobile high-life lived by Apple and Samsung

Huawei has decided it no longer wants to make low-cost, low-end mobile devices, and will concentrate on its high-end hardware. It hopes this will push its international sales forward, and give the company a taste of the mobile high-life it believes is lived by those at Samsung and Apple.

The news comes from Huawei CEO Richard Yu, who in an interview said, “We are giving up the low-end of the market. Many vendors are suffering. Only two have a good life: Apple and Samsung.”

Related: Huawei launches the Honor 6 Plus

Samsung and Apple hold the top two positions in the market, based on smartphone shipments, while Huawei is in fifth position, according to Strategy Analytics data. Xiaomi and LG occupy the spots in-between, and Huawei will be keen not to lose its fifth place to those manufacturers bubbling under, such as HTC, Sony, and ZTE.

Huawei will apparently concentrate on building its range of smartphones with a price tag of $300 and over, leaving the cheaper end of the scale – at least in China – to Lenovo and Motorola, along with up and coming Xiaomi. While Huawei will be watching Xiaomi’s growth closely, it’s one step ahead of the fledgling firm in terms of international sales, and that’s where it sees its future.

In a financial statement, Huawei expects its international smartphone sales to rise from 52 percent in 2014 to more than 60 percent in 2015, and its overall global sales to reach $16 billion. However, international sales are still a work-in-progress for Huawei, and it’s still figuring out the best strategy. Its latest approach is a rebranding exercise, and it has dropped the Huawei name in the UK and parts of Europe in favor of Honor, plus the Ascend name may disappear in the near future too.

Huawei will launch new hardware during Mobile World Congress in March, where these changes, and others could be in evidence. You can catch up with all the rumors in our roundup here.