(Reuters) – China’s Huawei Technologies on Friday flagged general and smartphone income figures for 2017 that represented its slowest progress in 4 years, and vowed to increase its international attain with extra premium merchandise subsequent yr.

The telecom gear and smartphone maker expects 2017 income to rise 15 p.c to 600 billion yuan ($92.08 billion), Chief Executive Ken Hu stated in his New Year’s message.

That represents the slowest progress since 2013 for Huawei. Its quick income progress lately has been slowing as Chinese telecom carriers full the development of the world’s largest 4G cell community and as competitors intensifies within the smartphone market.

Hu stated Huawei’s smartphone shipments in 2017 totaled 153 million items and its international market share topped 10 p.c, cementing its place because the world’s third-largest smartphone maker after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.

Huawei stated it will concentrate on revenue after posting near-flat annual revenue progress in March, weighed down by its fast-growing however thin-margin smartphone enterprise and advertising and marketing spending.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s client enterprise group, in a separate New Year’s message stated the group will attempt to acquire a bigger share within the high-end market globally, after recording “vital” progress in markets resembling Italy and Germany previously yr.

“In 2018, we can have disruptive merchandise and revolutionary know-how to guide the worldwide market. I imagine that 2018 would be the first yr that we are going to really be strolling the street to international prominence,” Yu stated.

In October Huawei launched its Mate 10 sequence, its costliest mannequin to this point and powered with AI-enhanced chips which the corporate says are sooner than Apple’s iPhones. The mannequin “bought extraordinarily effectively”, Yu stated, with out disclosing a quantity.

Yu stated the division’s income is anticipated to rise 30 p.c to 236 billion yuan – additionally its slowest progress since 2013.

“We want to raised perceive the wants of high-end customers exterior China and fashion-savvy younger shoppers in China,” Yu stated.

Industry tracker IDC forecasts China’s complete smartphone shipments in 2017 to shrink barely versus a yr earlier.

Hu additionally stated Huawei’s enterprise enterprise must “preserve mid-to-high progress pace and turn into a pillar enterprise for the corporate in 5 years”.

He additionally referred to as on the corporate’s client enterprise to enhance profitability, its new public cloud enterprise to extend in scale, and its core service enterprise to outperform the trade.

By Sijia Jiang

This article sources info from VentureBeat