Chinese Company Becomes Biggest Smartphone Producer For First Time — Huawei Dethrones Samsung

Huawei enjoys its moment in the sun as it leapfrogs Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone company by units shipped

Huawei overtakes Samsung as world's largest smartphone vendor

And, lest you think that Canalys are thumb-sucking numbers, we've also seen similar information from another market research firm, Omdia, regarding Huawei's performance in the market. For smartphone OEMs, this means that the second quarter of 2020 was another quarter with extraordinary circumstances and quickly changing realities on the ground.

Another victor in the second quarter was Apple, which finished fifth in China, as the USA tech giant achieved the highest year-on-year smartphone shipment growth of 35% with 7.7 million units. In the meantime, the tech giant poured 9.8 trillion won into facility investment in the second quarter. Of the major OEMs, Apple was most successful in navigating the marketplace. The company's shipments to customers in other countries was actually down by 27-percent.

The findings marked the first quarter in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple has led the market, Canalys said.

Huawei shipped 40.2 million devices in China in the second quarter, 8% more than a year earlier, to increase its share of the market to a dominant 44%. However, the industry tracker noted that the USA sanctions had "stifled" Huawei on the global market and that overseas sales fell by almost a third in the previous quarter.

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However, the pandemic affected overall smartphone sales with Huawei experiencing a 5 percent drop from the same period previous year.

Despite the huge surprise everyone woke up to yesterday, it is clear that the global smartphone market continues to take hits from the ongoing pandemic. The report states that the Q3 decline will show up both year-over-year and month-over-month (aka sequentially) and would appear following a huge sequential second-quarter surge of 104.6%.

In a conference call Thursday, Samsung said it sold 57 million units of handsets in the April-June period, with smartphones accounting for around 95 percent of the total. The core markets of the company, such which are Brazil, India, the United States and Europe are now recovering from lockdowns. "Amidst a period of unprecedented global economic slowdown and challenges, we've continued to grow and further our leadership position by providing innovative products and experience to consumers", the company said.

"Smartphone shipments in China declined 17 per cent YoY, a more modest decline than the rest of the world that declined 28 per cent YoY", Pathak said.

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All three brands focus on the Middle East and Africa as their main target markets.

Vivo declined 18 per cent YoY during the quarter, even though it has been steadily gaining market share in emerging markets, especially South East Asia. They're not indicative of any sizable gains by Huawei; in fact, the Canalys data suggests Huawei saw an overall sales decline of 5% from a year ago. For OEMs like Realme, vivo and Xiaomi, which focus on this market, the pandemic and governmental issues contribute to a hard second quarter of 2020. However, it was able to hold the edge and make history due to Samsung's shipments dropping 30% compared to 2019. Oppo, a Chinese manufacturer is also fifth with 24 million unit shipments.

The Chinese vendor shipped 55.8 million devices, down five percent year on year.

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