Founder and president of Huawei Ren Zhengfei recently visited Huawei’s Research Institute in Japan where he touched upon the relationship with its rival Apple, Chinese media has reported.

Speaking of Apple, Ren said that Apple has opened up three eras: the first one was introducing the first PC, the second was Apple’s image processing technology, and the third one was its products iPhone and iPod Touch.

“Apple has changed the world, we really need to thank them for that,” he said noting that without the mobile internet economy, Huawei wouldn’t be where it is now. But now Apple’s decline is giving Chinese smartphone producers new opportunities.

Ren also said that these days Apple’s overconfidence and the arrogance towards its users is leading to a decline in iPhone sales in the global market. In the Chinese market, the decline has been severe giving Huawei and other domestic mobile phone manufacturers an opportunity to free themselves from iPhone’s pressure, said Ren.

Huawei has topped Apple in global smartphone sales since June becoming the world’s second-largest smartphone brand, next only to Samsung. On the other hand, Apple’s sales figures have been going down despite the iPhone X launch, which costs double the average salary in China. iPhone’s reputation in China is just not what it used to be.

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.

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