Huawei's Rise to Top of Smartphone Market Has Stalled

Marco Green
June 11, 2019

Chinese tech giant Huawei said Tuesday it would have become the world's number one smartphone maker by year's end if it were not for "unexpected" circumstances - a hint that pressure from the USA may be hurting its sales.

Huawei's chief strategist, Shao Yang, said Tuesday the company now has to "wait a little bit longer to achieve that". But Shao provided some data to prove his contention that this milestone would have happened in 2019, had the USA government not blacklisted the firm, triggering software and hardware supply problems. The company is likely tempering expectations for 2019 after President Donald Trump in May signed an executive order effectively banning Huawei from USA communications networks, due to national security concerns about Huawei's close relationship with the Chinese government.

Huawei now sells 500,000 to 600,000 smartphones a day, he said in a speech at the CES Asia technology show in Shanghai.

Huawei surpassed Apple to become the second-biggest smartphone maker in the world a year ago and its heady growth in recent quarters suggested that it would pass Samsung for the top spot by early 2020. If the company successfully maintains this rate of sales, it could ship between 101 and 121 million extra smartphones by the end of the year.

Analysts estimate the recent US sanctions could push Huawei's smartphone shipments down as much as a quarter this year and cause its handsets to disappear from overseas markets.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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