Huawei is still celebrating overtaking Samsung to become the world’s number one smartphone seller for the second quarter this year, according to industry tracker Canalys.
The global sales numbers were driven by the phased coronavirus recovery of Huawei’s and Samsung’s respective key markets—China versus the U.S. and elsewhere. But when it comes to sales numbers, the latest analysis gives Huawei cause for serious concern.
Market researcher Canalys has now released its European sales analysis for that same quarter, finding that not only has Huawei shrunk again—down 17%, but, much more worryingly, domestic rival Xiaomi has grown faster, up 65%, knocking Huawei down to fourth place in a region that has been the heartland for its international expansion. The two Chinese rivals sold similar unit numbers in Europe—a serious win for Xiaomi.
US sanctions had “stifled” Huawei’s business outside mainland China, the research group added, but it had grown to dominate its substantial home market.
More than 70 percent of Huawei smartphones are now sold in the country, Canalys said, where Samsung has a very small share of the market.
Huawei said in a statement it was a sign of “exceptional resilience”.
Overseas shipments, however, fell nearly a third in the second quarter and Canalys analyst Mo Jia warned that strength in China alone “will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover”.
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“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,” Mo said.
Huawei – the world’s top producer of telecoms networking equipment – has become a pivotal issue in the geopolitical standoff between Beijing and Washington, which claims the firm poses a significant cybersecurity threat.