What you need to know
- Huawei has posted an impressive 66% growth in smartphone shipments for China in Q3 2019.
- This was despite the Chinese smartphone market contracting as a whole.
- It was the only major smartphone maker to post any growth whatsoever.
Earlier in the month, we reported that Huawei's smartphone shipments were finally resurging after two quarters of stagnation. Shipments grew by 8 million units compared to the 59 million phones the Chinese giant sold in the first two quarters of 2019 each. Thanks to a report from Canalys, we now have a good indication of what's driving Huawei's rise again.
China, it turns out. Amid a shrinking smartphone market in the world's most populous country (shipments fell by 3% overall), Huawei was the only major player to post any growth at all. Not only did the company's smartphones sales grow, but they did so in spectacular fashion. The company sold 66% more handsets in Q3 2019 compared to the same period last year. This allowed it to capture 42.4% of the total market, up from just about 25% at the same time the previous year.
In contrast, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Apple all saw double-digit decreases in shipments. As Canalys' VP of Mobility, Nicole Peng put it:
"Huawei opened a huge gap between itself and other vendors. It has 25% more share than this quarter's runner-up, Vivo. Its dominant position gives Huawei a lot of power to negotiate with the supply chain and to increase its wallet within channel partners. Huawei is in a strong position to consolidate its dominance further amid 5G network rollout, given its tight operator relationships in 5G network deployment, and control over key components such as local network compatible 5G chipsets compared with local peers. This put significant pressure on Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi, which find it very hard to make any breakthrough.
The company showed off its newest flagships, the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, in Berlin last month, but ominously omitted a launch date for Europe within its announcement. The lack of Google services and apps is certainly affecting Huawei's prospects in the West, but in its native China, the Trump administration's ban is actually proving to be quite the boon, as patriotic sentiments drove smartphone sales to record numbers. Of the 67 million units we estimate the company sold in Q3 2019, 41.5 million were purchased in China.
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