For the very first time, Huawei leaves behind Samsung in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2020. According to the latest report coming from Canalys, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer shipped more smartphones worldwide than any other company for the first time in nine years.
It also marks the first quarter in nine years that a smartphone manufacturer other than Samsung or Apple has led the market.
In the quarter Huawei shipped 55.8 million units, although down 5 per cent year on year, followed by Samsung that shipped 53.7 million smartphones, a 30 per cent fall compared to quarter two 2019.
The report suggests that Huawei has grown to dominate its domestic market by boosting its Chinese shipments by 8 per cent in the second quarter. The company now sells over 70 per cent of its smartphones in mainland China.
“China has emerged strongest from the coronavirus pandemic, with factories reopened, economic development continuing and tight controls on new outbreaks,” the report stated.
Notably, Huawei is still subject to US government restrictions which have stifled its business outside of mainland China. The company’s overseas shipments fell 27 per cent in the quarter.
Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton said, “This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago.” “If it wasn’t for COVID-19, it wouldn’t have happened. Huawei has taken full advantage of the Chinese economic recovery to reignite its smartphone business. Samsung has a very small presence in China, with less than 1 per cent market share, and has seen its core markets, such as Brazil, India, the United States and Europe, ravaged by outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns,” Stanton added.
“Taking first place is very important for Huawei,” said Canalys Analyst Mo Jia.
“It is desperate to showcase its brand strength to domestic consumers, component suppliers and developers. It needs to convince them to invest, and will broadcast the message of its success far and wide in the coming months. But it will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term. Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing in new brands to reduce risk. Strength in China alone will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover,” Jia added.