Can Huawei Beat Samsung? – So Huawei has been the second-largest smartphone maker in the world for quite some time now. Sitting below Samsung after unseating Apple for the number 2 spot a couple of years ago. Currently, Huawei wants to become the biggest smartphone maker in the world. That’s right, the manufacturer has been very open about its bold plans with the public, saying that it wants to surpass Samsung within the next year by 2020.
When Huawei was put on the US blacklist, we all expected their smartphone sales would go down. Without Google services, people wouldn’t even think of getting a Huawei phone in markets like Europe. But quite surprisingly, Huawei shocked everyone when they announced that they have sold 200 million smartphones already in 2019 with two months to spare and claimed that they will sell 270 million smartphones in the whole of 2019.
Last year, they sold 208 million smartphones. So that means they will sell 68 million more smartphone this year compared to the previous year even with the ban in effect. You might be wondering how is this even possible? Their sales should go down instead of going up. How are they also selling more phones?
Well, let me explain a couple of reasons why their sales are increasing even with the ban. First, in European markets, where Huawei has a powerful presence. They have found a workaround to sell their new phones with Google services compatibility. You see, Huawei is launching a new budget and midrange phones in Europe and other parts of the world with old internals. Making a small exterior change and giving it a new name. This way, it’s possible to retain the Google service compatibility by using existing hardware but launching it under a new name. And this is one of the biggest reasons their market share in Europe and other western countries didn’t go down even with the ban.
The second reason for the increase in sales, of course, China. You see over half of smartphone sales Huawei does comes from China alone. Especially after the ban, Chinese people are coming forward to support the brand by buying their phones. China is the most populated country in the world, and Huawei literally dominates the Chinese smartphone market. Whatever the market share Huawei is losing in the rest of the world is offset by the gain in China. And that’s the reason their sales are up even with the ban.
So now the question is can Huawei do what they said they would do and beat Samsung by next year? Most likely, yes. Samsung is expected to sell a little over 300 million smartphones in 2019. So Huawei is closing the gap so fast. And it’s reasonable to assume they would outsell Samsung phones within a year or two because Huawei has one thing that Samsung doesn’t. And it’s the dedicated support of 1.4 billion people.
But the thing is, even if Huawei manages to beat Samsung, they are in danger of losing a global brand status. The approach they’re taking in Europe by reusing and tweaking old devices to regain Google services is just a short-term solution. Such a strategy may keep Huawei’s product cycle and announcements ticking over, but they can’t keep doing it again and again. Another problem with this approach is this doesn’t apply to their flagships. Flagships customers know what they are buying, they want bleeding-edge performance and new features. And Huawei can’t fool them by using the old internals.
That’s what happened with the Mate 30 Pro, it uses new features and internals. And that’s the reason it doesn’t come with Google apps. So Huawei has to find a way to use Google apps, without it they’re going to lose their presence in Europe and other western countries. It might not happen today but surely in a couple of years.
And even if they can beat Samsung with the help of China alone. It wouldn’t hurt Samsung that much because, by that time, Huawei would no longer be a global brand. And wouldn’t directly compete with Samsung. Because almost all of their sales would happen in China alone. So Huawei needs a resolution to the trade dispute because without it these numbers would mean nothing. And won’t have any noticeable impact on Samsung or any of their competition.
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