BEIJING – Huawei has overtaken Samsung to become the number-one smartphone seller worldwide in the second quarter, making itself the largest smartphone vendor in the world, industry tracker Canalys said.
According to Canalys, Huawei shipped more smartphones worldwide than any other vendor for the first time in Q2 2020. It marks the first quarter in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple has led the market, China Economic Net (CEN) reported over the weekend.
Canalys said the embattled firm, which is still facing US sanctions, shipped 55.8 million devices, down 5% year on year. But second-placed Samsung shipped 53.7 million smartphones, a 30% fall against Q2 2019.
“Its (Huawei’s) overseas shipments fell 27% in Q2. But it has grown to dominate its domestic market, boosting its Chinese shipments by 8% in Q2, and it now sells over 70% of its smartphones in mainland China,” the report noted, adding that China has emerged as the strongest from the coronavirus pandemic, with factories reopened, economic development continuing and tight controls on new outbreaks.
“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 reignite 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 United States and Europe, ravaged by outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns.”
“Taking first place is very important for Huawei,” said Canalys Analyst Mo Jia.
“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.”
“But it will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term. Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging 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,” Jia added.