Huawei is headed for a big decline in smartphone shipments, but China could keep it afloat

Huawei is headed for a big decline in smartphone shipments, but China could keep it afloat
Huawei was doing an incredible job of defying mobile industry trends when national security concerns prompted President Trump to put an end to the Chinese tech giant's business ties with American companies and even foreign enterprises using "US original technology."

While it remains impossible to predict how the China - US trade war will evolve in the coming months and how catastrophic a damage it might cause for Huawei's thriving smartphone division both in the short and long run, one thing seems crystal clear. The company's sales numbers are bound to suffer. In fact, they're already down across European and Asian regions, according to multiple recent reports. 

A new one boldly tackles full-year forecasts, which are extremely difficult to put together right now for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, Fubon Research and Strategy Analytics experts feel relatively confident in their predictions of a shipment decline of between 4 and 24 percent in 2019 compared to 2018. Those are not exactly firm projections, naturally depending on future developments of a currently suspended ban.

If Huawei ends up losing access to Google apps, services, and the Android operating system as a whole, next year could see the brand totally "wiped out of the Western European smartphone market" the company has fought so hard to conquer these past few years. As a direct consequence of that potential "wipeout", Strategy Analytics expects shipments to drop another 23 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

A similarly bleak Fubon Research forecast downgrades Huawei's 2019 numbers from a previous expectation of 258 million unit sales to around 200 million in a "worst-case scenario." Of course, that's still a lot of phones and it would probably be enough to keep the embattled company among the world's top three vendors. In fact, even if Huawei loses Google and Qualcomm's support for good, its mobile business could easily survive on the "sheer size of the China market." Then again, it remains unclear how Huawei could continue making smartphone processors without ARM. 

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