Huawei has (briefly) overtaken Samsung as the world's top smartphone vendor

Daniel Fowler
July 31, 2020

According to the Canalys report, Huawei shipped 55.8m smartphones in Q2 of 2020, marking a 5pc decrease on the same period past year, while Samsung shipped 53.7m devices, marking a 30pc decrease.

Huawei still suffered an annual decline in smartphone shipments of5%.

It remains unclear how much of Huawei's second-quarter sales were driven by its 5G smartphones and high-end models that are most vulnerable to the restrictions, said Nicole Peng, vice president of Mobility at Canalys.

As per the firm, Huawei shipped 55.8 million smartphones in the second quarter of this year.

"If it wasn't for COVID-19, it wouldn't have happened", Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton said. With Samsung and Apple set to launch their flagship devices ahead of the Christmas period, there could be some significant gains, especially with Huawei falling away in the European markets.

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Huawei's 55.8 million shipments are 5% lower than this time a year ago, but that's not enough to stop it taking the top spot for the first time. However, since then, Apple has bounced back with strong sales for both the iPhone 11 and the iPhone SE (2020), which arrived in April this year.

South Korean tech giant Samsung released its latest earnings report, showing an increase in profits for the second quarter of 2020, despite disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The United States has effectively blocked Huawei from using Google's services, damaging the attractiveness of the Chinese company's phones overseas, and limited its access to chips crucial for 5G networking. Meanwhile, Samsung's key markets were disrupted by the pandemic and its sales fell 30% on a yearly basis. China, being the main market for Huawei especially after the United States government restrictions, brought in 72 percent of the company's smartphone sales in the second quarter. The country is the world's largest market for smartphones, and many consumers there have been flocking to Huawei products, partially out of patriotism and perhaps anti-US sentiment. Still, analysts don't expect Huawei to maintain that status for long.

Overseas shipments, however, fell almost a third in the second quarter and Canalys analyst Mo Jia warned that strength in China alone "will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover".

A years-long U.S. pressure campaign against Huawei has handicapped the Shenzhen-based firm's global business.

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