Huawei leads global smartphone shipments as Chinese spending recovers

Apple, Samsung knocked off top spot for first time in nine years

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


Huawei Technologies overtook Samsung Electronics in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter after Chinese consumer spending bounced back from a Covid-19 trough, according to Canalys.

China’s largest tech company shipped 55.8 million devices from April to June, down 5 per cent from a year earlier. But Samsung’s volume slid a sharper 30 per cent to 53.7 million, the research firm estimated.

It was also the first quarter in nine years that a brand other than Apple or Samsung has led the global market, according to Canalys.

“This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago,” Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton said. “If it wasn’t for Covid-19, it wouldn’t have happened. Huawei has taken full advantage of the Chinese economic recovery to reignite its smartphone business.”

But it may be tough for Huawei to maintain that lead given uncertainty around US sanctions.

Huawei’s overseas shipments fell 27 per cent in the second quarter, but its Chinese volumes rose 8 per cent.

China’s largest tech corporation is grappling with US sanctions that threaten to undercut its smartphone, semiconductor and networking gear businesses. It’s relying on its dominant position in its own home market to sustain growth. – Bloomberg