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Huawei plans to oust "slipping" Apple as number 1 mobile firm

A bullish Huawei believes it can take the place of tech behemoth Apple, which it said is “slipping” in the mobile market.

The Chinese manufacturer has set out a plan to become one of the three biggest mobile brands by the end of 2015, starting with the release of the Huawei Ascend P6, the thinnest smartphone the industry has seen.

“We don’t have so much money to do marketing and branding so we have to make our products better. The best smartphone in the past was from Nokia, then from Apple, then from Samsung. And who is number one? The industry is so dynamic – no matter how successful you are, if you’re currently number one, doesn’t mean tomorrow you’ll be number one,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei told The Telegraph.

Yu slated Samsung for its “plastic” designs and marketing spend, suggesting that people will buy any product if there is enough advertising behind it. He dismissed the Galaxy S4 as “just a so-so smartphone.”

Apple was not immune to criticism either. Yu acknowledged that iOS 7 makes the iPhone “extremely simple to use,” but said that Huawei would not even have to play catchup, as Apple is slipping. “We want to go higher than them,” he added.

Part of the plan is to mimic the user-friendliness of Apple by making alterations to Android. Yu said that Google's mobile platform is good for engineers, but not good for consumers, because it is too complicated. The company is hoping to address this issue with UI enhancements.

Yu also criticised Apple's lack of a large-screen phone in China, which he said are very popular there. Samsung's “phablet” range ushered in a new market of larger smartphone devices, and Apple is now expected to follow suit soon.

Huawei may have a fighting chance if it is able to deliver on its promises: produce better phones than its rivals for a cheaper price. While branding is still vital for market success, price will always be a strong motivator for consumers.