Despite US Ban, Huawei Still Beat Apple to Become Second Largest Smartphone Manufacturer in 2019

Pappi Hex

Huawei had high expectations for 2019 until the China-US trade war roped it in. Despite a difficult 2019 that saw the China tech firm hit with US sanctions, Huawei still managed to grab 16% global market share, surpassing Apple to become the second-largest smartphone brand worldwide, after Samsung.

Also Read: Huawei HongMeng OS Is Reportedly "60% Faster" Than Google's Android

According to global industry analysis firm Counterpoint, Huawei came second to Samsung who topped calendar year 2019 with 20% global market share, Apple came third with 13% while Xiaomi came fourth with 8%.
So despite the trade restrictions on Huawei, how did the company manage to still stay afloat? Counterpoint explains that Huawei got there via aggressive push in the Chinese market, where it achieved almost 40% market share. The Chinese market also accounted for over 60% of Huawei's total shipments in 2019.

General, the global smartphone market declined 1 percent (ear-on-year) with 1.48 billion smartphones being shipped in 2019, which is the first time that the smartphone market has declined for two straight years. Howevr, the decline was slower than in 2008 (4& YoY)

Though we saw new tech trends such 5G, folding displays, innovations, etc, in 2019, the year also brought "an uncertain trade and political climate."

"There have been growing tensions among several countries that have impacted the smartphone market. For example, the US pressure on Huawei, and tensions between Japan-Korea that led to uncertainties in the memory market. Supply chains have been upset, causing various companies to rethink their strategies and reduce dependence on single markets," Varun Mishra, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said.

Commenting on the various routes tech companies will take in 2020 to reduce risks, Mishra added, "2020 will likely see efforts to further diversify investments across geographies to mitigate risks. The current coronavirus outbreak in China is the latest issue to threaten supply chains."

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