Handset shipment: Samsung gains edge as Huawei takes nose dive


Smartphone shipment report from research firm Strategy Analytics indicate that Samsung things are looking good for Samsung in terms of market share as its closet rival, Huawei’s ship takes a nose dive following sanction in some major markets. 

Huawei came very close to Samsung in 2019, and but early this year, Huawei actually gain a temporary edge over Samsung. But all that is changing as Huawei’s ban from 5G networks and from using Google’s Android operating system has hit the Chinese tech giant hard.

According Strategy Analytics, Huawei temporarily edged past Samsung to become the largest smartphone brand with 19% market share in April this year, but it’s ban in the USA has sent its shipment figures into a nosedive, spelling great news for Samsung.

“Huawei appears to be losing ground at an accelerated rate,” the report said, estimating that Huawei will be the second-largest smartphone maker in terms of shipments in 2020 with 192.7 million units, but shipments will significantly drop down to 59 million units in 2021.

The report said Samsung is expected to maintain leadership in terms of global smartphone shipments this year and the company is likely to strengthen its position even further in 2021 as the market should recover with the help of 5G and foldable phones.

In terms of the actuals, Samsung expected to reach 265.5 million smartphone shipments this year, down from 295.1 million shipments in 2019. However, the company’s shipment figures could top 295 million units again in 2021.

Apple, which has for some years now, lost its place of pride as second largest in global smartphone shipment to Huawei, is expected to remain the third place in 2020, but will regain second place next year on account of Huawei’s misfortune.


Samsung is one of the weaker brands in Huawei’s home country, China with an abysmal one per cent market share at the end of Q2 this year (via Counterpoint Research), despite its massive success in other markets.

In China, brands like Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Apple perform significantly better. But Strategy Analytics predicts that the tables could be turning soon.

It estimates that Samsung’s fortunes in China could improve as Huawei continues to slow down its smartphone production.

“Huawei is the biggest flagship smartphone brand in China but there’s a possibility that both Samsung and Apple will gain some of their rival’s flagship smartphone market share,” the report said, adding that other domestic brands will continue to remain popular in the low and mid-range segments.

This could create a snowball effect wherein Samsung will boost its brand visibility through increased flagship sales and become more relevant in China across all segments, but nevertheless, competition will be fierce.

Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics has adjusted its 2020 projected global shipment figures for all brands combined. It estimates that shipments will drop by only 11% year-on-year as opposed to 15.6%.

It turns out that the global smartphone market is experiencing a higher-than-expected recovery rate in the USA, Europe, and India, and next year the global market could top pre-pandemic shipment figures similar to those recorded in 2019 (1.41 billion).


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