Will R18 000 phone sell in SA? Hard to say

Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Picture: Huawei

“Why would I pay R17 999 for a phone I can’t pronounce?”

This was one of the online responses after Huawei South Africa announced that its flagship device‚ the Huawei Mate 10 Pro‚ would cost South Africans R17 999‚ or R699 a month.

The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10‚ available to only 1 000 customers‚ will retail at R26 999‚ or R899 a month.

However‚ the Chinese company was confident that South Africans would not hesitate to order the device when pre-sales opened yesterday.

“A few years ago‚ people struggled to pronounce the name‚ but this year we have already shipped 150-million Huawei devices worldwide‚” Huawei Consumer Business Group SA general manager Likun Zhao said at the launch in Cape Town on Monday.

According to Huawei’s research‚ its flagship device offers features that every South African wants.

“When something is popular and marketed well‚ South Africans tend to gravitate towards that. In the past few years‚ they [have started] to understand that usability is important‚” Huawei product marketing director Akhram Mohamed said.

“When we looked at bringing out a flagship device‚ we were under the impression that‚ for example‚ the stylus made a big difference in the South African market‚ based on sales of our competitors.

“But in our interviews‚ we found that fewer than 10% considered it the most important feature.

“What they want is an extended battery‚ processing ability‚ new technology and water resistance.”

According to Huawei‚ consumers will experience a “faster‚ more customised mobile experience”‚ thanks to the new Kirin 970 processor which powers the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.

“We are bringing South Africa the first intelligent phone in the world.

“Yes‚ it is a niche product. The pricing is quite high‚ but we are keeping it as low as we possibly can‚” Mohamed said.

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