Friday, 31 July 2020 05:04

Despite US actions, Huawei overtakes Samsung to top smartphone shipments in 2Q2020 Featured

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Despite US actions, Huawei overtakes Samsung to top smartphone shipments in 2Q2020 Pixabay

Despite the US taking steps to try and curtail its business, Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies has overtaken South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics to become the world's biggest in smartphone shipments for the first time, in the second quarter of 2020.

The technology analyst firm Canalys said in a blog post that this was the first time in nine years that any company apart from either Samsung or Apple had been the one with the most shipments.

In the quarter, Huawei shipped 55.8 million devices, a drop of 5% year-on-year, ahead of Samsung which shipped 53.7 smartphones, a fall of 30% year-on-year.

Due to the US restrictions on its business, Huawei's overseas shipments fell by 27% year-on-year, Canalys said, adding that its domestic shipments grew by 8% over the corresponding quarter in 2019 to enable it to command more than 70% of the smartphone sales in China, the biggest global market for the devices.

Though the coronavirus started in China, the country has recovered much better than other countries and factories have reopened with economic activity continuing even as strict controls remain in place to prevent a second outbreak.

canalys 2q huawei2

“This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago,” said Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton. “If it wasn’t for COVID-19, it wouldn’t have happened.

"Huawei has taken full advantage of the Chinese economic recovery to re-ignite 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 US and Europe, ravaged by outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns.”

Canalys analyst Mo Jia added: “Taking first place is very important for Huawei. 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.

canalys 2q huawei

"But it will be hard for the company to maintain its lead in the long term. Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of 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.”


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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