It wasn’t all that long ago that Chinese tech-maker Huawei was sitting on top of the smartphone world, but Donald Trump’s actions are finally starting to tell against the company. From being the world’s top smartphone vendor midway through 2020 (yes, we know there were extenuating circumstances), Huawei has fallen out of the top five smartphone vendors list for the first time in six years.
Huawei gonna fix this?
That’s according to market research firm Canalys, published a report showing just how well Apple’s lovely iPhone 12 range is doing. But that’s not all the report showed. Huawei’s shipments declined drastically in the last quarter of 2020, to the point where it has fallen right out of the top five global smartphone vendors. And that’s if you include the sales of Honor smartphones, a sub-brand that the Chinese company no longer owns.
As such, the prospects of Huawei regaining its place, now taken up by Chinese brands Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, alongside Samsung and Apple, any time soon are slim. Nor will the recently-sold Honor manage to claw back any of that market share any time soon. Canalys analyst Amber Liu explained that Honor “…needs to re-enter channels which are already signing multi-year ranging deals with competitors.” However, “…in critical channels like European network operators, the vendor onboarding process can take more than six months.” Translation: It’s going to take some time before Honor handsets are back in front of potential customers.
Usually, we’ve only seen dips like this in mortally-wounded companies. BlackBerry dropped off the charts this way, as did Nokia after Microsoft bought the brand up and introduced the world to Windows Phone. LG also used to be a prominent vendor but is now looking to get out of the smartphone game.
Normally, we don’t see change happen quite this fast. Fast or slow, continued performance dips like the one noted for Q4 2020 might see the company join former cellular giants in the ‘Other’ category — whether Huawei likes it or not.