Huawei ranked as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer in the second quarter of 2020, reports market research group Canalys. The conglomerate became the first company in nine years to move more handsets in one quarter than Samsung or Apple.
Though the firm’s mobile device shipments fell by 5 percent annually, various factors allowed it to outpace its competitors.
Huawei’s Smartphone Triumph
According to Canalys, Huawei shipped 55.8 million smartphones across the world in the second quarter of the year. In doing so, the company outsold previous market leader Samsung by 3.91 percent and established itself as the June period’s biggest handset supplier.
While its overall mobile device shipments declined, the Shenzhen-based brand significantly expanded its domestic footprint. In the first quarter of 2020, the firm’s transported 61 percent of its mobile devices to Chinese merchants and 39 percent to foreign retailers. However, in the June-ending period, the company moved 72 percent of its wireless products to local sellers and 28 percent to overseas vendors.
As a result, Huawei increased its share of the world’s largest smartphone market by 8 percent year-over-year.
Canalys states the brand’s recent triumph is due in part to Samsung’s misfortune. The research group noted Huawei’s primary market has begun to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, regions where demand for the South Korean’s company handsets is highest—Brazil, Europe, India, and the United States—are still grappling with the global health crisis’s effects.
Consequently, Samsung’s handset shipments have fallen significantly since the coronavirus outbreak began. The company’s global orders tumbled by 17 percent in Q1 and another 30 percent in Q2. Because the Galaxy S20 manufacturer only represents 1 percent of the Chinese smartphone market, it could not benefit from its recovery the way its rival did.
Will Huawei Hold on to the Crown?
Coronavirus impact aside, Huawei deserves considerable credit for executing a successful pivot while facing unprecedented challenges. In recent years, the brand lost access to key suppliers and foreign markets amid mounting geopolitical trade hostility. But in directing its resources to capture domestic market share, the firm has secured a historic win. That said, it is unclear if it can maintain its position as the world’s biggest smartphone company.
Earlier this year, the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) reportedly stopped taking Huawei’s mobile chipset orders because of a change in international export controls. As TSMC is one of the world’s premier mobile CPU makers, its decision threatened the telecom’s dominance.
Asia Times Financial stated Huawei adapted by inking new supply agreements with Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation and Shanghai Microelectronics. Together, the component companies should be able to provide the firm with enough chips to meet demand for its products. However, it is unknown if the suppliers’ mobile platforms will mesh well with Huawei’s existing and future offerings.
In addition, Samsung and Apple both have flagship smartphone launches planned for later this year. If those new 5G-enabled handsets resonate with consumers, one of them could significantly increase their mobile device shipments in Q3 and Q4.
Still, Huawei has overcome adverse circumstances in the past, and it could do so again in the future.