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Huawei trumps Samsung for first time in worldwide smartphone market in Q2 2020

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. 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.

Huawei is still subject to US government restrictions, which have stifled its business outside of mainland China. Its 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. China has emerged 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.”

More~ Canalys: Huawei trumps Samsung for first time in worldwide smartphone market in Q2 2020
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The announcement comes a few months after the US government effectively blocked American companies from doing business with Huawei.

That means that not only can Huawei not buy parts from US-based companies like Qualcomm. But as of September 15, 2020, it also means that overseas companies like Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC cannot use equipment purchased from US companies to manufacture Huawei’s own processors for the Chinese electronic company.

As a recent op-ed in Bloomberg points out, that means it’s likely that Huawei will have to buy chips from MediaTek or other third-party chip makers based outside of the United States in the future, since the US order doesn’t seem to prohibit that.