In mid-2019, Huawei overtook Apple and became the second best selling smartphone manufacturer of 2019. Based on recent reports by market analyst firms like Strategy Analytics, Counterpoint Research, and Canalys, Huawei shipped around 240 million phones. On the contrary, Apple came in at third place with just under 200 million shipments. Samsung, on the other hand, kept its lead by shipping approximately 300 million devices. Xiaomi and Oppo stood at the fourth and fifth places respectively.
Huawei managed to keep its shipments alive despite the continued presence on the USA’s banned entity list. Even though the lack of Google services on Huawei devices affected its appeal outside the Chinese market, the company’s main strength was its local market that accounted for as much as 60% sales resulting in a 17% year on year increase.
Other than this, Huawei and Samsung’s gap for top manufacturer spot was now at its narrowest in 2019; however, according to Canalys Samsung is expected to rebound this quarter with the launch of its S20 flagship series. Moreover, Apple saw a robust fourth quarter as it managed to outsell Samsung. These sales were driven by iPhone 11’s lower pricing in particular.
Despite individual gains when it comes to OEMs, the smartphone industry overall saw a decline in sales of smartphones as compared to 2018. According to Counterpoint Research, this is the first time the smartphone market has ever declined for two years in a row. With the US ban on Huawei still intact, 2020 will be another year of struggle for the smartphone industry.