Above: David Moheno explains features of the new Huawei Mate 9 at a press briefing for Latin American journalists at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on Thursday. Photo By Mark Lyndersay.
David Hernan Moheno Garcia is the Deputy Director, PR for Huawei in Latin America. As the public face for the brand for journalists, he was the company’s spokesperson for the CES launch announcements. He answers questions focused on the Caribbean experience with the brand here.
TNT&T: When will the Mate 9 be launched in the Caribbean? It took almost 8 months for the P9 to become available in T&T.
DM: Bringing our flagship devices to our consumers as soon as possible is a top priority for Huawei in Latin America. We are working very hard into narrowing the gap between our global, regional and local announcements. Once we have a specific launch date for the Caribbean you will be among the first to know.
TNT&T: What’s become of the P9+? The Mate 9 seems to be it’s replacement, but what was Huawei’s experience in the market with that version of the P9?
DM: Alongside the P9, the P9 Plus has been one of our most successful products around the world, because we have shipped more than 10 million of these dual camera devices around the world. Our Huawei Mate 9 is not really a replacement for the P9 Plus, since they belong to a different series. The P9 Plus belongs to the P series, and the Mate 9 belongs to the Mate series. The P series is focused on lifestyle, design and creative photography, while the Mate Series is focused on performance, productivity and unrivaled battery life.
TNT&T: What is the role of the Honor brand in Huawei’s market positioning?
DM: The Honor brand is aimed towards a younger audience, looking not only for best in class specs, but also a design and philosophy that expresses the individual voice and personality of a younger generation. We intend to further push the presence of this sister brand across all of Latin America
TNT&T: Is there a danger in having so many variants in the smartphone line? Does there have to be a “Lite” version of every product line?
DM: All of our products are aimed at specific usage needs. In Huawei we believe that, in order to cater to our consumers needs, we must present choices, so that they can decide on which device suits their needs better. Our Lite variants offer great balance regarding specifications and performance, at a very affordable price
TNT&T: Has that proven to be a rewarding market approach for Huawei?
DM: For Huawei it is very important to provide choices, and we can say that our midrange products are some of the most beloved devices around Latin America
TNT&T: The new P9 Lite and Nova both seem pretty close in specifications. What will the clear difference for the customer?
DM: Even though both devices share similar features regarding performance, the main differences are evident in usage. Nova is for those who want to take not only dynamic photos, but also those who seek to take the perfect selfies by using our beauty and makeup modes. In the case of P9 Lite 2017, we are launching a refresh of one of the most beloved devices in the region, a product for those looking for a beautiful smartphone that includes the EMUI 5.0 experience right out of the box.
TNT&T: What are Huawei’s plans for advancing software support for the dual lens hardware?
DM: We have made great leaps in the dual camera front, beginning with our P9 in 2016 co-engineered with Leica. We seek to further advance in the dual camera form factor, and for this we have created a joint R&D center with Leica, the Max Berek innovation center in Wetzler, Germany. Here, side by side with Leica, we will not only further advance our dual camera technology, but we will also develop VR, AR and other smartphone focused optical technologies.
TNT&T: There’s now a dual lens iPhone. How does Huawei plan to capitalize on its lead in introducing these camera innovations with the P9?
DM: With the P9 we set the goal of reinventing smartphone photography, and we have achieved great recognition in this field, making our dual camera setup a reference within the industry. As we further advance into this technology , we are now presenting the second generation Leica dual camera with our Huawei Mate 9, which includes a larger 20 MP monochrome sensor, as well as OIS and hybrid zoom technologies.
TNT&T: Does the company have a direct low to midrange priced market alternative to the featurephone, which is a growing market for upgrading phone owners in emerging markets?
DM: For the moment, our efforts in Latin America are focused on the smartphone market. Our W, G+, Nova, Mate and P series of smartphones are the main players in our mobile device strategy.
TNT&T: What is the strategy for Caribbean market penetration in smartphones?
DM: Aside from giving top priority to securing product availability for our consumers, we will also reinforce our service commitment to become not only the most successful, but the warmest and most beloved smartphone brand in the whole region.