The first few units of the much anticipated Huawei P20 and P20 Pro have landed in Brunei, but will it be able to loosen the grip its competitors — iPhone 8, iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 — have on the market?

“We’ve had daily enquiries about when we will start selling them, so definitely Bruneians are interested. The first [batch of shipment] has just arrived and some units have already been booked,” Jufri, a sales assistant at mobile phone retailer DeeJay, said on Thursday.

However, he said that from his observations, Bruneians tend to prefer the iPhone. So it remains to be seen if sales of China’s newest flagship Android handsets will be as high.

Fitted with an advanced camera system, the P20 series promises to revolutionise smartphone photography. Together with its more pocket-friendly price point, it may give the iPhone 8 and X as well as the Samsung S9 a run for their money.

“The P20 retails here for $879 and just a little over $1,169 for the P20 Pro,” Jufri shared, confirming that the prices are cheaper than its competitors.

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The Huawei P20 series boasts an advanced camera system. Photo: Huawei.com

This comes as no surprise. According to editor of local tech news site Geekturf,  iPhones are generally more expensive but Apple has a strong loyalty base, and Brunei is no exception.

“The Huawei P Series is very popular in Brunei after iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. This has been the case since it released the P9 back in 2016,” Al-Haadi Abu Bakar said, adding that iPhone users are usually hesitant to switch to a different operating system.

Meanwhile, Progresif Cellular said that it will be releasing the latest Huawei P series smartphones in “four to six weeks”.

The telco’s chief sales officer, Bob Gill, said that the phones will also be offered on contract basis (mobile phone plans), and that he expects them to draw good response. “These phones are very competitive against the iPhone and will be a lot cheaper than the iPhone X,” he said.

In large part, he credits its competitive edge to none other than the Leica camera on the P Series which boasts AI (artificial intelligence) technology and advanced zooming capabilities.

A January report showed that although Huawei’s biggest market is still home based in China, sales are growing elsewhere in Asia as well. Last year alone, the Chinese tech giant came up third in global sales, having shipped over 150 million units.

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