But not all have been fans of Huawei's smartphone strategy. Telecom carriers had once relied on the company to build non-Huawei-branded handsets, at set prices and with specific features, using the operator's brand name, Shao said. But as the company moved to sell its own smartphones early last year, telecom carriers reacted by cutting off handset sales with the company.
"They punished us." Shao said. "In Europe 90 percent of our customers stopped business with Huawei in the smartphones. They said, 'Huawei you don't follow me.'"
Many of Huawei's telecom carrier customers, however, have begun returning, and want alternatives to selling Samsung and Apple handsets, Shao said. At the same time, other rivals including HTC, Sony and BlackBerry are scaling back their presence in the retail market, opening up opportunities for Huawei, he added.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.