April 30—Huawei became China’s number one smartphone semiconductor manufacturer in the first three months of the year, reports CNBC. According to market analyst firm CINNO Research, the conglomerate’s HiSilicon unit shipped 22.21 million handset processors in the Sino region last quarter, representing 43.9 percent of the local market.
The chipmaker was able to keep its domestic deliveries consistent despite the disruption brought about by COVID-19.
Huawei’s Domestic Strategy Bear Fruits
Last year, Huawei lost access to several of its semiconductor and software suppliers. As a result, the corporation could no longer load Google’s Mobile Services on its new smartphones, which curbed their appeal to international buyers. However, as the Big Tech giant’s platform is not available in China, the firm directed focus to its home market, including ramping up its silicon production.
The conglomerate’s efforts to bolster its handsets appeal to local consumers seems to have been effective, despite adverse market conditions.
The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology reported Sino smartphone shipments fell by 34.7 percent in Q1 2020. The South China Morning Post explained the coronavirus outbreak caused local manufacturers to delay new device launches and suppressed demand. Consequently, the region’s total handset processor shipments declined by a disconcerting 44.5 percent in the first quarter.
Nevertheless, Huawei recorded year-over-year revenue growth of 1.4 percent in Q1 and claimed the greatest share of the region’s mobile device processor market.
Huawei’s Chart-Topping Handset Component Shipments
Notably, Huawei’s leadership of the Chinese smartphone semiconductor market is the result of stability rather than growth. In Q1 2019, the conglomerate shipped 22.17 million handset system-on-a-chips and 22.21 million units in Q1 2020. However, since last year, HiSilicon expanded its local mobile chipset market share from 24.3 percent to 43.9 percent.
The company’s massive upswing in shipments indicates its products have won the loyalty of Sino consumers. The firm’s success also shows the corporation kept its production and logistics on track despite Beijing’s first quarter lockdown mandates.
CINNO’s report notes Q1 2019 market leader Qualcomm took a big hit from COVID-19; its smartphone semiconductor shipments fell from 48.1 percent to 32.8 percent year-over-year. As such, the chipmaker’s Sino vendors, Oppo and Xiaomi, experienced a significant downturn in handset orders.
Similarly, MediaTek saw its first-quarter market share drop by 5.9 percent from last year. However, Apple’s processor shipments only slipped by 0.1 percent, which aligns with reports its Chinese device sales recovered after Beijing eased its self-quarantine orders.
Although sanctions hurt its global appeal, Huawei’s domestic pivot has helped it become a smartphone silicon powerhouse in China.