For the very first time, Samsung loses it position as the world’s biggest Smartphone seller to Huawei. The technology evaluation and research saws that even during the pandemic the Chinese firm was able to ship up to 55.8 million devices world wide in the second quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, Samsung shipped about 53.7 million smartphones, thus, dropping to second place.
It has been a long time ambition and struggle of Huawei to overtake Samsung as the world’s biggest smartphone seller, eventually this ambition has been achieved. But, can Huawei hold on to the position for as long as Samsung has, since the struggle still continues.
Although, it is recorded that Huawei has made the large sells across the world, 70% of sales in the second quarter came from China while its overseas markets took a hit.
A Senior Analyst Ben Stanton states that “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% market share, and has seen its core markets, such as Brazil, India, the United States and Europe, ravaged by outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns“
According the the analyst this result is only possible because Huawei has a stronger presence in China compare to Samsung whose market is stronger outside China even though they are both a Chinese based company.
Lets not forget that Huawei’s global smartphone and telecom gear business continues to suffer the fallout from US sanctions that cut the company off from key American tech and supplies. Due to this sanction Huawei has lost access to popular Google (GOOGL GOOGLE) apps such as YouTube, maps and Gmail, which makes Huawei’s latest smartphones less attractive to international buyers.
Although, in China, where Google services such as Gmail or its search engine are effectively blocked, it’s not a big deal as Chinese consumers are not used to using those products. However, in international markets, not having Google is a big blow.
Huawei has also launch is very own OS last year to ease the effect of the ban on its product. The HarmonyOS operating system, according to the company is a microkernel-based distributed OS, which can be used in everything from smartphones to smart speakers, wearables, and in-vehicle systems to create a shared ecosystem across devices. However, there is still a lot of doubt about the potential and functionality of the OS, given the fact that it is missing key apps from the App Store.
Even after the launch of the OS, the company is still experiencing a down roll in sells last year and early this year, only to be revived by the pandemic.
In Europe, a key region for Huawei, the company’s smartphone market share fell sharply to 16% in the second quarter versus 22% in the same period in 2019, according to Counterpoint Research. It is the third-largest smartphone maker in Europe behind Samsung and Apple, showing how Huawei’s global position in the second quarter was built on efforts to expand its share in China, the world’s second-largest economy.
Therefore, the many contemplation if Huawei will be able to hold on to the global No. 1 position. Because, strength in China alone will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover.
Furthermore, with Samsung plan to launch its highest-profile smartphone yet in the form of the Galaxy Note 20 series, and COVID-19 lockdown restrictions easing globally, we could see yet another shift in Q3 2020 sells report.
The Chinese telecommunications giant also faced with global threat which threaten to weaken it growth and sells. This year their had been pressure from Washington. As a new rule was introduced in May which requires foreign manufacturers using U.S. chipmaking equipment to get a license before being able to sell semiconductors to Huawei.
In addition, the British government have come to concur to US pressure and pledged earlier this month to remove Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.
Australia and Japan have also taken steps to block or restrict the Chinese company’s participation in their 5G rollouts, and European telecoms operators including Norway’s Telenor and Sweden’s Telia have passed over Huawei as a supplier.
Similarly, on Wednesday the US ambassador in Brasilia warned of “consequences” if Brazil chooses Huawei for the project to develop the next generation of telecommunications technology in Latin America’s most populous country.
Either way, while global markets might not fancy Huawei at present, mainland China is proving that homeland support can still ensure that the brand stays relevant globally — But for how long, with all the threat the company is facing globally.