Huawei wants to be one of the world’s three biggest mobile phone brands by the end of 2015. According to chief executive, Richard Yu, the company has the ambition, simply put, to make the best smartphone in the world and to sell it for less than Apple or Samsung.

Indeed, Huawei’s approach in China has been to build phones tailored for every market. Huge investment in research and development means that there’s a phone, tablet or in-between phablet at a range of prices and at a host of sizes.

“In its latest update, Apple makes the phone extremely simple to use,” he said. “But if we are just learning from them we can’t catch up, because they are now slipping. We want to go higher than them.”

Being ‘higher than Apple’ is part of the thinking behind the software Huawei’s using for the new phone.

A simplified version of Android, it also offers highly customisable interfaces, including a way to make the switch from one homescreen to another look like a windmill.

Huawei claims Samsung – the biggest smartphone maker in the world – has built its success on hyperbole and enormous advertising spend. “In the high tier, if you have huge money to spend on marketing and branding, like Samsung, then everyone will buy that,” Mr. Yu said.

“We don’t have so much money to do marketing and branding so we have to make our products better. The best smartphone in the past was from Nokia, then from Apple, then from Samsung. And who is number one? The industry is so dynamic – no matter how successful you are, if you’re currently number one, doesn’t mean tomorrow you’ll be number one,” he said.