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Huawei looks to IBM to help it flog more smartphones and tablets

Seeks advice from the PC innovator in the post-PC markets
Fri Sep 16 2011, 17:24

CHINESE ELECTRONICS MAKER Huawei has enlisted IBM to help it come up with a branding strategy to sell tablets, smartphones and cloud computing services.

Huawei is one of the largest telecoms equipment providers in the world and wins numerous contracts, but it wants to get into the consumer electronics business and has shown off impressive looking smartphones. Now it wants IBM, a company that has very little direct involvement in the smartphone and tablet markets, to help it build an image that will make punters lust after its kit.

Bloomberg is reporting that Huawei will seek 25 consultants from IBM to come up with answers by November. There is no information available about how much Huawei is paying IBM but Ross Gan, a spokesman for Huawei said, "It's not a traditional branding project where they tell us how the brand should be positioned ... It's more from the management-of-the-process point of view: How do I manage the brand function within the organization? Who is responsible for what?"

IBM and Huawei have a long standing relationship and with the Chinese vendor wanting to triple its revenues in the next decade, that relationship is getting stronger. One way for it to hit its target of $100bn annual revenue will be to get into the smartphone and tablet business.

Huawei's chief rival in China is ZTE, which has enjoyed considerable success with its range of cut priced Android smartphones. Judging by Huawei's devices, it looks like the firm is not only going for the low end but also the more aspirational end of the market.

IBM will have its work cut out for it to help Huawei market its devices to consumers who already have Apple, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and ZTE to choose from. µ


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