DESPITE its absence from the U.S., Huawei retained its ranking as the No. 2 smartphone vendor worldwide and continued to reduce the gap with Samsung research and advisory firm Gartner reported.
In a global IT report released on Tuesday by the firm, it showed Huawei continued to reduce the gap with Samsung, however, Gartner warned that growth could be limited in the near future.
The United States on May 15 blocked Huawei from buying U.S. goods, saying the company was involved in activities opposed to national security. The Trump administration last week softened its stance by granting Huawei a license to buy U.S. goods until the 19th of August.
Gartner said Samsung retained its top spot in worldwide smartphone sales, achieving a 19.2 per cent market share in the first quarter of 2019, while Huawei achieved the highest year-over-year growth among the world’s top five – Samsung, Huawei, Apple and Chinese smartphone makers OPPO and Vivo.
“Huawei did particularly well in two of its biggest regions, Europe and Greater China, where its smartphone sales grew by 69 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner
The report showed that Huawei sold 58.4 million smartphone units in the quarter, with growth across all regions.
In addition, Gupta said demand for utility smartphones declined as the rate of upgrading from feature phones to smartphones has slowed, given that 4G feature phones give users great advantages at a lower cost.
Huawei’s continued dominance in Greater China, where it commanded a 29.5 per cent market share, helped it secure the No. 2 global smartphone vendor ranking in the first quarter of 2019.
Although it is expected that the impact of the U.S. action against Huawei is likely to affect the buyer’s commitment as Huawei handsets were drawing fewer clicks from online shoppers.
“Unavailability of Google apps and services on Huawei smartphones, if implemented, will upset Huawei’s international smartphone business which is almost half of its worldwide phone business,” Gartner revealed.
Companies that have either shunned Huawei completely or restricted buying from the company include Google, Softbank’s ARM, Analog Devices, U.S. chipmakers Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Xilinx Inc, Broadcom Inc, Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp and BT Group’s EE.
The report also showed that global sales of smartphones to end users declined 2.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, totalling 373 million units.