What might seem like a desperate move is instead a stroke of genius: Huawei now sells second-hand smartphones in China, but it could be just the beginning.
Once a consumer electronics giant, able to compete on equal terms with Samsung and Apple in the smartphone market, today bypassed by Xiaomi and "reduced" to selling refurbished smartphones. We are talking about Huawei and quotation marks are a must, because in reality the choice to sell Huawei second-hand could be a winning weapon for the future of the company, in trouble after the well-known American ban.
Already today Huawei sells second-hand smartphones, but only in China through the online shop Vmall. Among the available models there are also the top of the range of the past years, such as Huawei P30 and P20, which gave a hard time to competitors especially for the excellent photographic compartment and that, even today, offer performance comparable to a good mid-range 2021 of competitors. Prices, by the way, are also similar to models of this type and the user has the advantage of taking home a device from the average power but with excellent cameras. All certified and guaranteed by Huawei but, above all, with the new HarmonyOS operating system instead of Google Android.
Huawei refurbished smartphones: how they are
On Vmall Huawei sells two types of second-hand smartphones: the first "90% new" and the second "99% new". It takes little to tell the difference: the first ones have some scratches, the second ones look really new.
In both cases the phone is restored to factory data, has a new battery, the HarmonyOS operating system and an official Huawei one-year warranty. In the case of the "99% new" ones, then, for the user who buys them there is really little difference between a second-hand Huawei top of the line and a new mid-range one from the competition.
All with HarmonyOS
As we said, the Huawei refurbished ones are on sale at the moment only in China where Huawei has already made the big jump, abandoning Google's operating system in favor of its own HarmonyOS 2.0 creature.
This move has the advantage, for Huawei, of pushing its own OS on the market: if the user doesn't buy a competing smartphone with Android but a refurbished one with HarmonyOS, in fact, Huawei still gains because more and more users will go through its app store Huawei AppGallery to download apps compatible with the new OS.
Huawei has chosen to push AppGallery by cutting, or eliminating altogether, the commissions paid by app developers (which are around 30% on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store). In the future, however, commissions will return and this makes us understand how far-sighted and right Huawei's choice is to sell refurbished smartphones with HarmonyOS. So it's not out of the question that Huawei is already thinking about selling refurbished smartphones outside of China as well.