Huawei topped the world in smartphone shipments in the second quarter, marking the first time in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple led the market, research firm Canalys said today.
Huawei shipped 55.8 million devices, down 5% year on year, yet second-placed Samsung shipped 53.7 million smartphones, an even worse 30% fall from a year earlier.
Huawei is still subject to US government restrictions which have stifled its business outside of mainland China, Canalys said in a statement.
Huawei’s overseas shipments fell 27% in the second quarter, yet its Chinese shipments increased by 8% during the period.
“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,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton in the statement. “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.”
It will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term, however, analyst Mo Jia said. “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.”