Huawei continues to sink, but a glimmer of hope looms

The brand shipped “only” 14.19 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2021, far behind the top 5 formed by Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.

Since 2019 and the American decree which prevents Huawei from collaborating with American companies and equipping its smartphones with Google services, the brand has continued to lose popularity. Even though the automaker had managed to stay afloat by focusing on the Chinese market, its latest sales figures literally collapsed. So after being dislodged from the top 5 of the world’s biggest smartphone sellers – a ranking it once aimed for number one – the brand has had a difficult first quarter.

According to Counterpoint Research, sales of Huawei-stamped smartphones would have represented only 4% world shipments during the first quarter, far behind those of the fifth in the ranking, Vivo (10%). We then find Oppo in fourth (11%), Xiaomi in third position (14%), then Apple in second (17%) and finally Samsung, still the world’s leading smartphone seller in the first quarter (22%).

Q1 2021 smartphone sales
Crédits : Counterpoint Research

In total, the Chinese giant would have shipped “only” 14.19 million smartphones during the first quarter, a figure significantly lower than the records of the past. However, the global smartphone market is on the rise again this quarter, with significant growth of 20% compared to the same period in 2020. In total, 354.94 million smartphones have found buyers this quarter according to Counterpoint Research.

HarmonyOS the savior?

It remains to be seen whether Huawei will succeed in raising the bar with the launch ofHarmonyOS, its alternative operating system to Android. Huawei’s OS has already managed to gather no less than 10 million users a week after its launch, according to the brand, a small feat that could further accelerate with its deployment on future high-end smartphones of the brand. As a reminder, Huawei plans to equip no less than 360 million HarmonyOS devices by the end of the year.

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