Huawei overtakes Samsung as top smartphone seller

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BEIJING: China’s Huawei has overtaken Samsung to become the top smartphone seller worldwide in the second quarter of 2020 on the back of strong domestic demand, industry tracker Canalys said on Thursday.

Canalys said that the embattled firm, which is facing US sanctions and falling overseas sales, shipped 55.8 million devices — overtaking Samsung for the first time, which shifted 53.7 million units. The findings marked the first quarter in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple has led the market, Canalys said.

US sanctions had “stifled” Huawei’s business outside mainland China, the research group added, but it had grown to dominate its substantial home market. More than 70 percent of Huawei smartphones are now sold in the country, Canalys said, where Samsung has a very small share of the market.

Huawei said in a statement it was a sign of “exceptional resilience”. Overseas shipments, however, fell nearly a third in the second quarter and Canalys analyst Mo Jia warned that strength in China alone “will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover”.

“Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing in new brands to reduce risk,” Mo said.

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