Huawei Overtakes Samsung and Apple in Worldwide Smartphone Shipments

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Huawei has shipped more smartphones worldwide than any other tech manufacturer – marking the first quarter in nine years that Samsung or Apple has not led the market.

According to a report by Canalys, “Huawei 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.”

“This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago,” says 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.”

The Chinese tech giant has been heavily scrutinised by the US, which Canalys believes has “stifled its business outside of mainland China”.


“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.”

Edited by Jenna Delport
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