It looks like that the reverse psychology started by apple can be applied on Huawei high end phones. Despite the quite high price of $750 customers have trusted and purchased this device at much higher rate than the last year’s phablet.
Huawei P9 sold in 12 million since its launch roughly a year ago, and this one was smaller and cheaper compared to 5.9-inch Mate 9. One of the things that bothered us at the beginning was the Full HD resolution on such a big screen, but it worked out much better than we expected.
Huawei Mate 9 launched in the USA at CES 2017, so early January at $600 making it a bit more realistically priced compared to the EU price. Of course, the price of the phone has dropped down as you can purchase it for €569 in Media Markt Germany.
Mate 9 is the first phone with Huawei's own Kirin 960 SoC based on four Cortex-A73 and four Cortex-A53 cores in big.LITTLE configuration as well as special low-power companion i6 chips (based on ARM Cortex-M7), dealing with all always-on features. In addition to the octa-core CPU part, the Kirin 960 packs ARM's new Mali-G71 MP8 GPU which should offer both 180 percent higher performance and 40 percent better power efficiency compared to the Mali-T880. The strong 16nm FinFET SoC definitely helped the high sales number.
Huawei actually chose the sweet spot timing to launch its phone. It happens in the time that barely any other Android manufacturer launches a phone. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was the last Android phablet to launch and we are certain that the Huawei Mate 9 sales were higher due to the Galaxy Note 7 recall.
Some people really like the big phones and older you get, the bigger the phone you need. Your eyes are simply not playing along and this would be the population that goes after 5.5-inch and larger phones. Then there are the end users in developing countries who only have one device, and they tend to buy a larger phone as they lack the purchasing power to buy an additional tablet or a laptop.
Part of the success are the numerous deals that Huawei made with a lot of carriers across Europe. Huawei P10 is also one great phone that will probably come close to the P9 success if not exceed it, but it is hard to predict as Snapdragon 835 based phones look rather dominant.