Things haven’t been going very smoothly for Huawei in recent years. The company’s rapid development was disrupted by ongoing fighting with the US government, which among other things blocked access to Google apps and services. However, a new Canalys report paints a fairly rosy picture when the hardware giant overtook Samsung to secure the top spot in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2020.
The news is a milestone for several reasons, not least due to the fact that neither Apple nor Samsung has topped the Canalys charts for the first time in nine years. Huawei’s numbers grew almost entirely through sales in its home country of China, which currently accounts for more than 70% of the total.
However, it is important to note that the company took the top spot by shrinking substantially less quickly than Samsung. Huawei’s total numbers decreased 5% year over year. However, that number pales in comparison to Samsung’s 30% decline. The two Goliaths are currently at 55.8 million and 53.7 million, respectively.
Before COVID-19, it was bad for the smartphone industry, but the pandemic certainly didn’t help overall, as people are less inclined to spend hundreds to $ 1,000 on minor upgrades. Indeed, Huawei’s numbers outside of China fell 27%, but the overall decline was dampened by 8% growth in China. Samsung currently controls less than 1% of the Chinese market.
What all of this means for the future, it seems difficult for Huawei to maintain its top position. “Key distributors in key regions like Europe are increasingly concerned about getting Huawei devices within reach, adopting fewer models and launching new brands to reduce risk,” Canalys Mo Jia said of the report. “The strength in China alone will not be enough to keep Huawei at the top as the global economy recovers.”