A new report suggests that domestic smartphone sales have seen Huawei surge ahead of rival Samsung in smartphone shipments

Since the start of 2020, Huawei has been under siege, with the fallout from a Chinese–US geopolitical dispute reshaping the vendor’s position in the global ecosystem. As a result of US pressure, the company’s role in providing 5G infrastructure for various countries around the world are in jeopardy, leaving its future uncertain.


Today, however, a report from analyst firm Canalys shows that, when it comes to smartphone sales, Huawei is still pressing on, overcoming rival Samsung to become the world’s biggest smartphone seller for the first time in Q2 this year.


The report shows that Huawei shipped 55.8 million handsets, while Samsung managed slightly less at 53.7 million. 


While these numbers are surely a nice feather in the cap for Huawei at a time when the Chinese giant needs it most, the company should not get too comfortable in the number one spot; these sales have been deeply influenced by the global pandemic and maintaining this trend could cause be problematic.


When it comes to Huawei’s smartphone sales, 70% of their business comes from within China. As a country that has had reasonable success containing this coronavirus, the overall effect on the nation’s smartphones sales appears to be limited, but Huawei nonetheless sold 5% less phones, year-on-year as a result.


Meanwhile, Samsung, who is a very minor player in the Chinese market, relies much more heavily on other major international markets, many of which have been decimated by the pandemic. Samsung’s figure of 53.7 million smartphones shipped is in fact down 30% from the same time last year.


Of course, the full economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on around the world is not yet fully understood, so it is difficult to predict if Huawei can maintain its pole position. Samsung has said it is expecting increased sales in the coming quarter as a result of a new phone launches, while Canalys analysts suggest that China’s domestic sales alone would “not be enough” to help them retain the crown as global economies recover. 


In the midst of the coronavirus and a near-global geopolitical brawl, China’s domestic position may just give it the resilience it needs to ride out the storm.


Also in the news: 
Community Fibre earmarks £400m for London FTTP
ITU: Harmonised mobile standards are integral telecoms development post-COVID-19
Co-operation will be the key to delivering on 5G’s economic promise