What trade ban? Huawei shipped a record number of phones in 2019

What trade ban? Huawei shipped a record number of phones in 2019
Despite an extremely turbulent few months, Huawei finished 2019 on a high by setting an impressive new smartphone sales record. 

It shipped 10 million more smartphones than predicted


Company chairman Xu Zhijun revealed earlier today that Huawei managed to ship an incredible 240 million smartphones throughout 2019. This represents an impressive 16% increase over the 206 million devices sold a year earlier and humongous growth of almost 57% when compared to the 153 million units shipped in 2017.

The figure isn’t quite as high as the 270 million goal set back in October, but it is significantly better than the 230 million estimation announced just last month.

Huawei says the impressive results are largely down to strong performance of the Huawei P and Huawei Mate lineups. Sales of these devices grew by over 50% year-on-year thanks to an increased focus on China, which is where most of the phones were sold, following the implementation of the US trade ban.

A strong start in Europe earlier in 2019 combined with an aggressive marketing strategy later in the year also helped.

What will happen in 2020?


Huawei hasn’t yet announced shipment estimates for 2020, but the expectation is that numbers will start to fall. The company isn’t able to release entirely new devices with Google Play Services in global markets due to the ongoing trade ban.

Unless things change in the near future, the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi should gradually start to eat up the brand’s market share as their latest flagship, mid-range, and budget models are unveiled to compete with Huawei’s aging lineup of devices.

China is expected to help soften the blow, but Huawei’s strong growth is likely to slow as the segment becomes even more saturated.

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20 Comments

1. User123456789

Posts: 1344; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Huawei does not need to sell phones to survive. This takes some weight out of their shoulders. Like all other chinese brands, most sales come from local market. Most of them as Honor devices. So, chinese market is enough to avoid money loss.

2. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Why not run your own version of android? Make it better than Mozilla or oxygenOS and you're golden. Or screw it and bring Symbian back! ;)

4. Anonymous.

Posts: 424; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

Wow. Bernoulli. How's your Uber doing man... You still on PA after all these years.

3. inFla

Posts: 216; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Don't care how many they sell as long as they are not here.

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 22754; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei devices not being “here” (wherever here is”) is actually a loss for consumers. Their devices are the top two or three most competitive, feature rich and innovative in the smartphone space.

9. Venom

Posts: 3952; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. Definitely not a loss considering the fact that Huawei has ties with the Chinese government.

17. meanestgenius

Posts: 22754; Member since: May 28, 2014

It’s a loss for consumers. Unsubstantiated claims of ties to the Chinese government don’t change that.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 22754; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei’s 2019 numbers were fantastic, despite being caught up in the middle of all of this BS political propaganda. Kudos to them for that. 2020 will be the true test however, as the U.S. is looking to put more pressure on them. There will of course be short term loss, but in the long term, Huawei will remain a successful company and thrive. This is forcing Huawei to move full speed ahead with their own mobile services (HMS) and OS (HarmonyOS). Huawei has the resources to create a successful new smartphone ecosystem, which will not bode well for Google’s version of Android in the long run, especially of other Chinese OEM’s like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo start using Huawei’s in house OS on their smartphones, like reports have suggested.

11. Venom

Posts: 3952; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Yup they will be very successful like Tizen, Sailfish, FireOS, webos, Meego, BBOS, and even Windows Phone. Oh wait. Yup Google should totally be afraid just because of all that success up above.

13. dimas

Posts: 3446; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Agree. But huawei's harmony will be successful in china obviously but for the rest of the world? No thanks for an OS with unlockable bootloader and s**tty 3rd party developer support.

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 22754; Member since: May 28, 2014

Venom, Google should be worried if 3 of the top 5 global smartphone OEM’s that happen to currently use Googles Android drop it for another OS. Huawei has the will and resources to make it work, especially since they have no choice now. HarmonyOS will be hugely successful in China, and could very well drop Android’s numbers to the single digits in China if other smartphone OEM’s in China jump on it. That’s just logic. But I don’t expect logic to be a part of your repertoire.

7. smallworld

Posts: 523; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

That was obvious as most of their 2019 lineup was not affected by the trade ban. It's 2020 that's going to be decisive and where the real sales decline may happen. Cause that's when all their new range is gonna ship without Google services.

10. Venom

Posts: 3952; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Well said. The Huawei apologists refuse to acknowledge that fact point. Outside of China where Huawei has the unfair advantage due to the Chinese government, Huawei is going to feel the sting of not being able to have access to Google services and apps on their phones. They will lose out to other more capable Android stalwarts.

14. dimas

Posts: 3446; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Hey, you're going to make the wild chinese bear ass kissers mad again. 2019 is the last time huawei products will taste google services, unless U.S. agree to have chinese govt. overlords in their phones by early 2021 (Anticipating incoming NSA butthurt analogies).

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 22754; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei gets treated no differently than any other company that operates in China. I’ve yet to see you or anyone else from the Huawei Hate Brigade, especially from the subgroup “fellation Brothers” that you and a certain someone are a part of. Huawei is more capable than the so called Android stalwarts. They will feel some pressure, but they will still sell a lot more smartphones than the likes of Google, HTC, and many others.

20. Vancetastic

Posts: 1866; Member since: May 17, 2017

I almost want to buy a Huawei device out of spite at this point. I still have not seen any actual proof of these "spying for the Chinese government" claims.

8. markkirivera

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 20, 2019

I just bought a Huawei Mate 20 Pro last December at around PHP 18,656 $366 online and it's been amazing. I hope Huawei gets through this crazy politics stuff.

16. dimas

Posts: 3446; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Please give us feedback after using it for 2 months. I've used huawei before and trust me, their tiny software restrictions and harware glitches will irk your day.

12. dimas

Posts: 3446; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Of course they will not lose sales in the trade ban. Chinese population will always be larger than U.S. Who, in the first place said that they will crumble with it? Huawei- chinese govt. ties are so strong you can smell the red flag monitoring in those huawei motherboards.

15. johnh3

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Outside of China I think the Android ban will affect the Huawei phone business hard especially in West countries. I guess most phone carriers will replace Huawei devices in 2020 with other brands. Here in Sweden I see some that now got Xiaomi in carrier stores. And that trend will continue. Bad for Huawei/Honor but a opportunity for other Chinese brands. I think TCL will get a big break in 2020.

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