Huawei overtakes Samsung in smartphone sales for the first time

Huawei, Chinese-based tech company
Emeh Joy

Huawei became the world's top smartphone seller last quarter according to an independent market research report released on Thursday thus, making it the first time ever that Hauwei is overtaking Samsung in the market.

According to the Canalys report, the Chinese tech company had shipped as much as 55.8 million phones in the three months, which ended in June, surpassing its longtime rival Samsung, which shipped 53.7 million.

"Taking first place is very important for Huawei. It is desperate to showcase its brand strength to domestic consumers, component suppliers and developers", Canalys analyst Mo Jia said.

For about one year, the Shenzhen-based firm's global business seemed to be handicapped as a result of US pressure campaign against Huawei. Huawei was reported to have suffered an annual decline in shipments of 5%. However, Samsung suffered an even bigger decline of 30%.

According to the market research firm, Huawei's victory over Samsung wouldn't have happened if COVID-19 did not occur. The company took advantage of the economic recovery in China, where Huawei now sells over 70% of its smartphones.

Samsung, on the other hand, has a minimal presence in China. Still, Huawei's global smartphone and telecommunication gear business continues to suffer as a result of US sanctions that have cut the company off from key American tech and supplies.

Will Huawei sustain its global No. 1 position in the mobile tech market?

Huawei's latest smartphones are a lot less attractive to international buyers as they don't have access to popular Google apps such as YouTube, Gmail and maps. According to Jia, this will make it very difficult for Huawei to hold on to the global No. 1 position for long.

Latest Huawei phones do not have access to popular Google apps like Google map, Gmail and YouTube

He said, "It will be hard for Hauwei 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.

Huawei spokeswoman, Evita Cao said, "Our business has demonstrated exceptional resilience in these difficult times". However, she failed to respond to questions on how the company will be able to maintain its lead going forward.

Huawei's success report came precisely the same day Samsung posted a significant profit margin for the second quarter with a huge demand of its chip, thus helping the company weather the decline caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts from IDC said in a note last month that smartphone shipments worldwide are expected to fall about 18% in the first half of the year as the pandemic continues to affect consumer's spendings.

Also, according to the market research firm, global smartphone shipments are not expected to return to growth until the first quarter of 2021.

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