Huawei Overtakes Apple and Samsung as Smartphone World Leader

To the surprise of many, Huawei overtook Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer in April, with a 2% greater market share.

April 2020 saw the controversial Shenzhen-based telecommunications company surpass its rival, Samsung, to become the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. According to figures reported in Counterpoint Research’s monthly Market Pulse report, Huawei temporarily achieved a 19% market share, while Samsung’s dropped to 17%.

The timing of the upset is likely due at least in part to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. During April, smartphone sales in several key regions for Samsung – including the US, Latin America, India and parts of Europe – fell almost to zero, allowing the two companies’ relative positions in the global smartphone market to switch.

China, Huawei’s largest market, saw a 17.2% increase in smartphone shipments year-on-year during the month of April, the first observed increase in four months, corresponding to the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the country.

Huawei’s good fortune may be short-lived, however. The company is reportedly expecting a 20% revenue decrease in overall sales in 2020, owing to the impact of the recently implemented US trade ban and the loss of Google from its new phones.

Figures have also shown Huawei’s sales in Europe are currently down by almost 40%, leaving the way open for rival Xaomi to assert itself in the market.

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