A few days ago, I was at Huawei’s Mate 20 sales launch at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, a prestigious mall that has housed a number of major smartphone sales launches and roadshows in the country.
I was there around 9.30am to witness the event, which at that time the doors are barely open to the public, I was surprised by the crowd waiting outside the main entrance, all of them were eager to get their hands on the new Mate 20 and some had even started camping the night before.
Tell anyone that the queue is about a new smartphone launch, it will be easily assumed as a new iPhone or Samsung phone launch.
However, this is a Huawei phone launch, and probably the largest that the company has ever held to date in Malaysia.
If you have been following Huawei’s launch history in the country, you would have realized that in recent times, its smartphones were launched a week after it was announced in its global event, and the queue of every new smartphone launches, regardless of the mid-range Nova series or flagship P and Mate series, have received overwhelming response in major city launch events.
In comparison to the Galaxy Note 9 launch event at KLCC, which I was personally there to purchase the phone, the Mate 20 Series crowd was at least five times bigger during the first day, Huawei seems to have handled the situation really well despite launching its phone two months after Samsung’s flagship.
I had a chance to chat with some Huawei officials during the event and was told that over the years, the company has been working hard at engaging its customers on social media via community groups, this gives customers the advantage of being closer to the brand on giving feedback about their products, despite facing backlash on working with some medias on the concept, the effort has proved to be effective and has created brand conversions and a loyal user base.
Of course, Huawei’s recent smartphone releases have certainly helped boost its popularity, and it all starts with the collaboration with Leica three years ago on the Huawei P9, as it steered the company to the right direction of focusing in smartphone photography where companies like Nokia used to do, but neglected in the early HMD Global manufactured devices.
Apart from that, the company has managed to sell its own hardware innovation on its smartphones. Starting from last year’s Mate 10, it was the first commercially available Android smartphone that comes with artificial intelligence processing power, which later influenced other Android phone makers to do the same, and it has certainly made everyone believe that it is an essential selling point of the product.
Huawei’s overwhelming sales response can be partially attributed to the introduction of the new MateBook D and MateBook X Pro notebooks, which both are great computing products and have helped the company stepped further into the PC market, they were sold out during the first day of the sales event.