Huawei Consumer Shifts Further Beyond Smartphones with the Release of New S-Tag and HUAWEI Health+ Service

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2Q 2022 | IN-6563

Following the US embargoes, Huawei has been forced to reduce its participation in the smartphone industry, and to look for other areas to grow its product lines. As a result, Huawei has most recently shifted its attention to healthcare wearables, its health app, and a new sector, tags. The company recently launched the S-Tag, a lightweight, portable activity tracker device that helps users understand their training status and improve running efficiency. These announcements complement its quick expansion into various other industry segments, including smart offices, inverters, and automobiles. Although the firm is presently facing problems and obstacles, the constant analysis and a thorough understanding of strategic industries represents the most critical aspects to ensure the continuity of its growth.

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Huawei's New S-Tag Can Provide More Accurate Health Information


In May 2022, Huawei Consumer Business Group (BG) took another step beyond smartphones, which it has had to make partly through necessity owing to the geopolitical situation, announcing several new products, including an upgraded foldable smartphone, smartwatches, a fitness band, and accessory products. Of particular note was the launch of the Huawei S-TAG, a lightweight and portable activity tracker designed to be used with a smart device, such as a smartwatch or smartphone. The product is expected to be released in July and includes a foot clip, waist clip, spoke clips, and other accessories, although pricing has yet to be announced. Along with its hardware, Huawei also introduced HUAWEI Health+, a new premium paid subscription service for users, which forms part of its Health App.

Huawei is Exploring New Products Areas to Fightback Against Technology Restrictions


According to ABI Research, Huawei’s share of the smartphone market plunged to just 0.5% in 2021, shipping around 35 million devices, mainly in the Asia-Pacific region. As a result, Huawei is making a concerted effort to focus on different product areas and industry sectors to keep its consumer business afloat. Notably, this latest raft of product launches sees the company strengthen its portfolio of healthcare wearables as well as adding more advanced health and fitness features to its health app. In general, the wearable healthcare sector has boomed during the pandemic, as patients have familiarized themselves with the online approach, which has provided better and safer access, less wasted time, and lowered costs. Additionally, wearables and apps can help physicians solve data collecting and analysis issues, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capable of analyzing enormous data through continuous monitoring.

Specifically, the launch of the S-TAG represents a clear change of focus for the company, identifying a market that is set to increase rapidly. The tag uses multi-functional and dynamic motion sensors to assist customers in understanding their training state and increase running efficiency while lowering injury risk. The S-TAG can be paired through Bluetooth with the Huawei Health App and a dedicated Huawei Watch. It can also support primary cycling data like cadence, speed, and distance. While the S-TAG is classed as an activity tracker rather than a personal/device tracker, such as Apple’s AirTag, ABI Research expects total tracker shipments to grow to 882 million units by 2030, at a CAGR of 30.8% from 2022 to 2030, which will be boosted by the introduction of 5G New Radio (NR) RedCap.

Aside from this push into wearables and accessories, Huawei is also looking to other products areas to stimulate growth. At MWC, the company announced a number of devices branching into those designed to create the smart office space. Huawei has pledged to fight back in the devices market and has latched on to the Business-to-Business (B2B) sector through the launch of seven new products at MWC, including the company’s first all-in-one desktop MateStation X, first E-Ink tablet MatePad Paper, and first laser printer PixLab X1. These launches offer a new strategic direction for Huawei and bring it one step closer to accomplishing its vision for smart offices, allowing users to form a “Super Device” system.

Huawei is also aggressively expanding its business segments, such as inverters and cars, where it can build or acquire processors on its own, reducing the impact of high-end chip limits. In addition, Huawei is shifting engineers from various business divisions to its self-driving car sensors and electric vehicle power units to expand its automobile business.

Huawei's Expanded Portfolio of Products Will Support its Effort to Avoid Falling Behind


Although the company is currently facing difficulties and challenges, the most critical factors ensuring Huawei growth is the constant analysis and a thorough understanding of strategic industries as well as tailored approaches to penetrate specific markets. According to ABI Research, wearables in the healthcare market are predicted to reach 87.81 million of shipments by 2026, and Asia-Pacific represents an area with the fastest growth at a CAGR of 27,7% from 2021 to 2026. Therefore, to avoid falling behind rivals like Samsung and Apple, Huawei should attempt to understand the healthcare industry's issues from various angles, not just from a consumer hardware perspective but also including healthcare professionals..

At the moment, Huawei smart wearable devices can gather real-time signals from users, utilize AI to detect irregular cardiac rhythms and submit the data to Huawei Research. However, aggressive investments in connectivity to ensure the effectiveness of prompt medical action and improvements of the AI technology in wearables will become critical for its strategy to succeed.

After all, Huawei’s Consumer BG strategy is not mainly about the device’s ecosystem but also about the B2B opportunity. Therefore, by partnering with major players in the healthcare industry and clinics, the company’s mobile medical units could become the main devices to deliver quality healthcare in defined locations to give it an edge over its competitors.



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