China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's No.6 handset maker, may produce computer tablets running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system after choosing the same system for its handsets, a senior executive said on Thursday.
The Shenzhen-based firm, which wants to increase its market share by selling mobile phones under its own name, will also spend $200 million on advertising this year to boost its brand awareness, said Shao Yang, chief marketing officer of Huawei Device, the division that sells dongles, handsets and tablets.
"We need to learn how to get close to people and understand people. That's something we lack," Shao said in an interview.
To boost margins in the highly competitive handset market that has eroded margins of some handset makers, Huawei is pushing into the higher-end segment. As a result, its average selling price doubled this year from last year, Shao said, without giving details.
Huawei plans to ship 50-60 million smartphones globally this year, up from 20 million last year and 3 million in 2010. The company's gross profit margin dropped 6.5 percentage points to 37.5 percent last year.
Huawei, founded by chief executive Ren Zhengfei in 1987, has diversified into consumer devices with its Vision smartphones and MediaPad tablets as its core telecoms gear market has stalled. Last year, Huawei recorded sales of 44.62 billion yuan ($7.02 billion) for consumer devices, a rise of 44.3 percent.
(Reporting by Kazunori Takada; Editing by Matt Driskill)