Huawei Was Briefly the World’s Biggest Smartphone Maker in April: Research

Huawei briefly overshadowed Samsung and became the world’s biggest smartphone maker in April, according to market research firm Counterpoint Research. Huawei’s milestone emerged despite the US trade ban and absence of Google Mobile Services (GMS) on its recent models. The Chinese company is said to have captured a market share of 19 percent for a short period in April, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown that had impacted the sales of other smartphone vendors. The growth of Huawei was, however, existed for a brief time as Samsung’s market share improved eventually.

Citing its Monthly Market Pulse, Counterpoint Research told Gadgets 360 that Samsung’s global share in the smartphone market dropped to 17 percent in April while Huawei saw the growth in its market share. “This was almost entirely due to the way in which the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world’s smartphone markets; China was rebounding in April with sales getting back towards normal,” said Peter Richardson, VP of Research, Counterpoint Research.

“Meanwhile, markets where Samsung is strong such as India, Europe, and the USA were massively impacted, with some almost coming to a complete standstill. We do not expect Huawei’s position to be sustained.”

The brief growth resulted in the short success of the Shenzhen-headquartered company that’s struggling to get new customers on board – chiefly due to the trade ban in the US and the availability of Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) over GMS. The company is also facing hardships in convincing customers in India due to the anti-China sentiment that has swollen significantly in the recent past.

According to Counterpoint’s Monthly Market Pulse report, the China market contributed 76 percent to the total shipments of Huawei in April. The global handset sell-through, however, dropped 25 percent compared to March as there were close to zero sales in countries including India and Europe due to strict lockdown restrictions. US sales also continued to decline, though markets such as China saw some stabilisation.


A report by International Data Corporation (IDC) in May showed that Huawei retained leadership in China with a market share of 42.6 percent, followed by Vivo at 18.1 percent and Oppo at 17.8 percent. Early price promotions of the Huawei Mate 30 and Huawei P30 series as well as the price cuts of the Honor V30 and Honor 9X series helped the company continue its top position in the local market, the analyst firm noted in the report.

To recall, Huawei was number two in the global smartphone market in the first quarter of 2020 while Samsung remained at the top spot. A report by Gartner mentioned that the company saw a 27 percent drop in shipments facing restrictions in the US and captured a 14.2 percent market share. Counterpoint Research, on the other hand, highlights that the company had a share of 17 percent over the 20 percent share of Samsung in the first quarter.

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Sagar Biswas

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