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华为能成为真正的高端手机制造商吗?

更新时间:2017-11-20 18:46:42 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Chinese Phone Maker Bets Big With a Premium Price
华为能成为真正的高端手机制造商吗?

SHENZHEN, China — The phone takes dazzling photos and sports advanced artificial intelligence. Its display stretches gloriously from edge to edge. And at nearly $1,000, it pushes into eye-watering territory on price.

中国深圳——这款手机能拍出绚丽的照片,配备了先进的人工智能。两侧无边框的显示屏十分震撼。近1000美元(约合7000元人民币)的售价也让它进入了令人泪目的价格区间。

But the Mate 10 Pro isn’t the latest high-end offering from Samsung or Apple. It comes from China — a country that, for all its growing sophistication in technology, has yet to produce a name like Lexus, Canon or Samsung that consumers around the globe associate with premium quality at premium prices.

但Mate 10 Pro并不是三星(Samsung)或苹果(Apple)最新推出的高端机;它来自于中国。尽管在技术上越来越先进,但中国还没有出现一个像雷克萨斯(Lexus)、佳能(Canon)或三星这样能够让全球消费者把它与物美价高联系起来的品牌。

Huawei Technologies, the new smartphone’s creator, thinks the world is ready to pay top dollar for a Chinese product. It is rolling out the Mate 10 Pro — plus two sibling devices, one less expensive and lower spec, the other pricier and sleeker — in Europe, in the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia. And it is in talks with AT&T to offer the phones in the United States, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the discussions are not public.

这款新智能手机的开发者华为认为,世界已经为出高价购买中国的产品做好了准备。该公司正在欧洲、中东和亚洲其他地区推出Mate 10 Pro和两款姐妹机型,其中一款价格和配置较低,另一款较高。此外,据一名熟悉情况的人士透露,华为正在与AT&T洽谈在美国销售相关手机事宜。由于洽谈是非公开的,这名人士要求不具名。

In technology, China is no longer the land of knockoffs and copycats. Its labs are racing ahead in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other frontier fields. Its internet companies are in the vanguard in devising ways to upend retail, finance, transport and other industries using mobile technology.

在技术方面,中国不再是山寨和剽窃的领地。它的实验室正在引领人工智能和量子计算等前沿领域。它的互联网公司在利用移动技术颠覆零售、金融和运输等行业方面处于领先地位。

The trouble is getting the world to recognize all that. China wants to upgrade its economy by selling the world higher-value goods such as cars, jetliners, advanced electronics and more. Famous brand names can help open up new markets and convince global customers that Chinese products are as dependable as American, Japanese or South Korean ones.

问题是要让全世界承认这些。中国希望通过向世界各地出售汽车、喷气式飞机和先进电子产品等高价值商品来实现经济升级。知名品牌可以帮助开拓新市场,让全球客户相信,中国的产品与美国、日本或韩国的产品一样可靠。

Huawei (pronounced HWA-way) is already well known at home. The company outsells all others in China, the world’s largest smartphone market. And it is nipping at Apple’s heels to be the No. 2 phone maker worldwide. According to the research firm Canalys, Huawei shipped 39 million phones in the latest quarter; Apple shipped 47 million. But those Huawei devices were mostly low or midrange.

华为在国内已经广为人知。中国是全球最大的智能手机市场,华为在这里的销量超过了其他任何公司。它紧紧跟随苹果,成为全球第二大手机制造商。根据研究公司Canalys的数据,华为在最近一个季度的手机出货量为3900万部;苹果的出货量为4700万部。不过,华为的手机大多是中低端产品。

“We see good signs that people have seen the brand change to a large degree,” to one that is “stylish and innovative,” said Glory Cheung, Huawei’s marketing chief for consumer devices. “I think that’s a very good sign for us.”

华为消费者业务营销总监张晓云(Glory Cheung)表示,“我们看到了一些很好的迹象,人们已经在很大程度上看到了品牌的变化,”它变成了一个“时尚、创新”的品牌。“我认为,这对我们来说是一个很好的迹象。”

Still, Ms. Cheung said, Huawei would rather spend on developing smarter features and better technology than on marketing, even as she acknowledged the importance of building an emotional bond with users. The challenge for the company on that last front is significant: Compared with Apple or Samsung, Huawei has much further to go in forging that elusive something that leads someone to commit to a brand.

不过,张晓云表示,与营销相比,华为更愿意在开发更智能功能与先进技术方面进行投资,不过她承认,与用户建立情感纽带很重要。该公司在最后这一点上面临巨大挑战:与苹果或三星相比,华为在培养顾客品牌忠诚度这种难以捉摸的感情方面,还有很长的路要走。

Even in China, many people still view Huawei devices as good value for the money and not much else.

即使在中国,很多人依然认为,华为手机只不过是物美价廉而已。

Li Haoran, a 24-year-old accountant in Beijing, is a longtime Apple user. Would she switch to Huawei?

24岁的李浩然(音)是北京的一名会计。长期以来,她一直用的是苹果。她会转而购买华为吗?

“Not for myself,” she said. “But I’d consider buying Huawei phones for my family, because they are relatively cheap.”

“我自己不会,”她说,“我会考虑给家里人买华为手机,因为华为相对便宜。”

As for the Mate 10 series, Li Weitao, a 40-year-old marketer in Shanghai who is no relation to Li Haoran, said that for more than $600, “you should probably get an iPhone.”

至于Mate 10系列,40岁的上海经销商李卫涛表示,要花600多美元(约合4000元人民币)的话,“你都可以去买个苹果手机了。”

Founded in Shenzhen three decades ago, Huawei was already one of the world’s largest suppliers of telecommunications equipment when it released its first Android smartphone in 2009. Its earliest handsets were run-of-the-mill in looks and performance. But Huawei has since invested more in design and technology, opening a design center in London and a research and development facility in Finland.

华为公司是30年前在深圳创立的。2009年,它发布首款安卓智能手机时,已经是全球最大的电信设备供应商之一。它早期的手机在外观和性能上都很普通。不过后来,华为在设计和技术方面投入了更多资金,在伦敦设立了一个设计中心,在芬兰设立了一个研发机构。

With the Mate 10 series, Huawei is debuting one of the fruits of its research: a processor dedicated to artificial-intelligence tasks such as identifying people in photos and translating text.

华为在Mate 10系列中推出了自己的一项研究成果:专门完成人工智能任务的处理器,比如在照片中识别人脸,以及文字翻译。

Christophe Coutelle, vice president of software marketing for Huawei, said the new processor let the phones perform such tasks more quickly, with less power and — as no data needs to be sent to a faraway server — with better privacy protection.

华为的软件营销副总裁克里斯托弗·库泰勒(Christophe Coutelle)表示,新处理器能让手机执行这些任务时速度更快、用电更少,由于无需把数据发送至远程服务器,所以还能更好地保护隐私。

“Not everyone is willing to share all of their information, pictures and everything with cloud-based services,” he said.

“不是所有人都愿意使用云服务,分享自己的所有信息和照片等内容,”他说。

The emphasis on privacy could help Huawei crack its last big untapped market: the United States.

对隐私的重视可以帮助华为打开它最后一个尚未开发的巨大市场:美国。

Huawei’s international presence and diverse work force make it more of a global company than a Chinese one, Ms. Cheung said. Whether Huawei is a global name — and an appealing one — is another matter.

张晓云表示,华为在国际上的力量以及多样化的员工队伍使它更像一家全球公司,而非中国公司。然而华为是不是一个全球品牌,以及是不是一个诱人的品牌,则是另外一回事。

“The brand still lacks personality,” Thomas Husson, an analyst at Forrester, said in an email. “The focus is still too much on technical specifications and functionalities.”

“这个品牌依然缺乏个性,”弗雷斯特(Forrester)的分析师托马斯·赫森(Thomas Husson)在接受电子邮件采访时说。“它依然把重点过多地放在技术规格和功能上。”

Figuring out how to strike a chord with ordinary consumers was never going to be easy for Huawei, which has spent most of its existence selling back-end equipment to mobile carriers.

对华为来说,搞清楚如何引起普通消费者的共鸣,从来都不是一件容易的事,因为它自创立以来的大部分时间里,都是在向移动运营商销售后端设备。

It has enlisted Scarlett Johansson to star in ads, and teamed up with Porsche and Leica on design. Yet Huawei still has “very much of an engineering culture,” Mr. Coutelle said. In conversation, employees rarely fail to mention how much the company spends on research and development (more than 10 percent of revenue) or the number of its workers involved in research (nearly half).

如今,它邀请斯嘉丽·约翰逊(Scarlett Johansson)出演广告,与保时捷(Porsche)和徕卡(Leica)合作进行设计。不过,库泰勒表示,华为依然拥有“非常浓厚的工程师文化”。在采访中,员工们几乎都会提到公司花在研发上的钱(超过公司10%的收入)或者参与研发的员工人数(接近该公司员工的一半)。

The company’s attitude, Mr. Coutelle said, had long been that its products spoke for themselves — that there was no need to hard-sell anyone on their superiority. “But I think this is changing.”

库泰勒表示,该公司的态度一直以来都是让产品为自己代言,认为没必要向任何人强行推销自己的优越性。“不过我认为,这种情况正在改变。”

Huawei has been touring the world introducing users to its devices’ clever but low-key features. To take a screenshot, for instance, you knock twice on the screen with your knuckle. Drawing an S with your knuckle takes a screenshot of the entire length of a website or app — the better to share paywalled newspaper articles like this one.

华为一直在世界各地向用户们介绍华为手机的一些智能而低调的功能。以屏幕截图为例,你只需用指节在屏幕上敲两下即可;用指节在屏幕上画一个S,就可以对网站或应用程序上某个页面的全部内容进行截图,以便于分享像本文这种付费报纸文章。

Under-the-hood advancements may not drive sales unless Huawei brings them to the less expensive, midtier phones that will almost surely remain its biggest sellers, said Francisco Jeronimo, an analyst at the research firm IDC.

研究公司国际数据公司(IDC)的分析师弗朗西斯科·赫罗尼莫(Francisco Jeronimo)表示,技术上的进步可能无法推动销售,除非华为把它们应用到更便宜的中档手机上,中档手机几乎肯定依然会是它最畅销的机型。

Mr. Jeronimo said he had laughed when he heard Huawei executives talk, years ago, about becoming a top-three phone maker. Today, he said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if they become No. 1.”

赫罗尼莫表示,多年前,当他听到华为的高管们说,要成为全球三甲手机制造商之一时,他笑了。他说,现在,“如果他们成了第一,我也不会感到惊讶。”

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