Huawei crashes the Samsung/Apple smartphone duopoly for the first quarter in nine years
After crunching the Q2 2020 numbers in India, the US, China, and Europe, one analytics company is finally putting all the data together to reach a surprising conclusion. According to Canalys estimates, this was the first three-month period in no less than nine years dominated by a different smartphone vendor than Samsung or Apple.
That's right, the market has a new world heavyweight champion, and although there are no prizes for guessing its name, it was certainly not easy to anticipate this change of leadership six or 12 months ago. That's because the new mobile industry commander was widely expected to be badly hurt by various US business restrictions put in place last year that prevented the Chinese tech giant from using Google apps and services on its latest phones.
Incredibly enough, that didn't stop Huawei from shipping nearly 56 million handsets worldwide during 2020's second quarter. And while that represented a 5 percent drop from the same number recorded between April and June 2019, Samsung registered a far steeper decline to close the April - June 2020 timeframe with only 53.7 million global smartphone shipments.
We're talking a 30 percent year-on-year drop in Galaxy sales around the world, which came after a 17 percent year-on-year decline in Q1, obliterating what seemed like a pretty comfortable advantage over silver and bronze medalists Huawei and Apple last year.
Paradoxically, the coronavirus pandemic helped Huawei pull off the first quarterly global win in its history, as China's huge smartphone market rebounded much more quickly than India, Europe, and the US after a disastrous beginning of the year. But Huawei's increasing reliance on its homeland, which now accounts for 72 percent of its total smartphone shipments, suggests the company's industry dominance will be short-lived.
Sooner or later, the global economy will recover, which means both Samsung and Apple can expect to challenge Huawei's industry-leading numbers in the near future, buoyed up by the impending releases of the very promising Galaxy Note 20 and iPhone 12 families.
Curiously enough, the newest Canalys report focuses entirely on the competition between Huawei and Samsung, failing to rank the world's third, fourth, and fifth smartphone vendors of Q2 2020 or detail the market's overall shipment figures.