Huawei takes top spot in global smartphone vendors, Samsung falls to second
Image credit: Phonandroid

For the first time, Huawei topped the smartphone market by surpassing Samsung in sales for a quarter. Q2 2020 saw Huawei selling 55.8 million devices, significantly more than Samsung’s 53.6 million units.

This data for April-June 2020 came from Canalys, an analysis firm, which reported that Huawei ran a 5% decrease in sales compared to this time last year. Samsung, on the other hand, saw a decrease of 30% from Q2 2019.

Huawei takes top spot in global smartphone vendors, Samsung falls to second
Huawei takes top spot in global smartphone vendors, Samsung falls to second. Image credit: canalys

Odds stacked against Huawei

Huawei was crumbling under sanctions from the USA, which prohibited the use of Google-based technology on their devices. They even developed their Operating System for smartphones “HarmonyOS” last year. But analysts have previously cast doubt over its success in international markets given the fact that it is missing key apps from the App Store. 

However, a solution to this was a large number of sales within the domestic market of China. Consumers worldwide will find it hard to buy a Google-less device, but the Chinese market is already devoid of those services, hence propelling Huawei to sell 70% of their devices within China.

Moreover, China was the first-one-in and first-one-out in the Coronavirus pandemic. While the rest of the world is trying to find ways to recover, Chinese markets are back up, and Huawei has successfully used this opportunity to the fullest. Given China’s humongous population, success in China often hands companies a pseudo-trophy of “global” success.

“Our business has demonstrated exceptional resilience in these difficult times,” a Huawei spokesman said

Short-time lead for Huawei

Samsung’s key markets like the USA, India, and Brazil are still stuck within the pandemic with no end in sight. As a result, the smartphone markets in these population-pockets have tumbled down. However, the South-Korean telecom giant is sure that sales will rocket up in the latter half of the year, with more markets coming out of the ashes in the next few months.

Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton said “If it weren’t for COVID-19, it wouldn’t have happened. Huawei has taken full advantage of the Chinese economic recovery to reignite its smartphone business.”

Adding to Stanton’s statement, Mo Jia, another senior analyst at Canalys said “It will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term. 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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