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Huawei Becomes Top Smartphone Manufacturer in Q1 2020

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Image courtesy Huawei Central

Way back in 2016, Huawei announced its plans to become the largest smartphone manufacturer ahead of Samsung and Apple within 5 years. The latter was overtaken in 2018 and early 2019 just before everything started to go wrong.

The future seemed bleak especially last year when the Chinese company was locked out of business with Google by the Trump administration in 2019. But now, it seems that the company has finally achieved its long-term goal.

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Despite falling sales across the world and a global pandemic that has had the whole industry on its knees, Huawei has been reported to take first place in April with an impressive 21.4% share of the global smartphone market.

According to the report published by Counterpoint Research, this is the first time that Huawei overtakes its Asian counterpart Samsung that has been sitting in the top position for years now.

This is reportedly owed to the huge presence that Huawei has in its home market, China. While the demand for smartphones plummetted around the world in Q1 2020, the early COVID-19 onset in China meant that the market was already in recovery by April.

Meanwhile, Samsung did suffer severely due to the strict lockdown measures in Europe and India. The South Korean firm painfully took 19.1% of the global smartphone market. This accounts for a 29% decline in demand compared to March.

Counterpoint Research noted that this could be blamed on the low demand for the Galaxy S20 compared to previous flagship series. The official numbers were not provided although previous reports have suggested sales are down over 30%.

A total of 69.37 million smartphones were shipped across the globe in April. That represents a massive year-on-year decrease of 41%.

What Does This Mean for Q2 2020?

No word has come out yet about Huawei’s performance in May. However, there are expectations that the second quarter of the year could end with Huawei still at the top. This would be the first time that the company gets to achieve such a milestone.

As sales in China continue to recover, it is expected that Huawei’s sales could see another spike that will help in Huawei still having the throne.

Regions like Europe, North America and India are unfortunately still slow which could make Samsung fall even further behind.

On the other hand, markets in Africa could give Samsung a boost big enough to return it to the top position. Either way, Huawei can now boast that it achieved its long-term goal, even if it ends up being temporary.

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