Report: Huawei drops out of the top 5 for global smartphone shipments

The COVID-19 global pandemic has certainly hit the global economy hard, and among those affected are huge, multi-national tech brands. With regards to Huawei, their troubles began prior to the various lockdown measures implemented by governments around the world, with the U.S. Department of Commerce blacklisting the Chinese company for a series of alleged, government-related offences.

This had a pretty severe fallout from the consumer’s point of view. One of the main outcomes here is the lack of Google Mobile Services support on any of Huawei’s new releases, although the company has championed its own HarmonyOS as a viable alternative. That’s only expected to be officially rolled out soon, and in the meantime, Huawei phones have run on an open-sourced version of Android—paired to Huawei’s AppGallery for apps.

Additionally, Huawei has also announced a split with sister brand Honor, with CEO Ren Zhengfei calling for youth-centric brand to be its biggest competitor in the future. This has, of course, affected Huawei’s overall sales (which usually included Honor devices)—and the latest figures from Strategy Analytics seemingly confirm this. While global smartphone shipments recorded its highest growth since 2015 with an increase of 24 percent compared to last year, Huawei is conspicuously missing from the top 5.

The improvement (for the overall smartphone market, not Huawei) is reportedly down to a “healthy demand” from users with older devices looking to upgrade, as well as a “phenomenal 5G push” from Chinese smartphone-makers. The global chip shortage concern did not have a significantly detrimental impact on the top 5 brands during Q1, although the analysts warn that supply issues might come to the fore for smaller vendors in the future.

Meanwhile, Samsung retains the top spot with 77 million smartphones shipped globally during Q1 2021. The company has had a renewed focus on the mid-range segment in recent times, perhaps due to the stiff competition from Chinese competitors. As a result, the new Galaxy A-Series is certainly one to consider for many who want to get into the South Korean company’s ecosystem of services—on a relatively modest budget.

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Making up the rest of the top 5 is Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. Vivo is obviously part of the same family of companies as Oppo, so it should be noted here that Oppo’s figures were calculated separately from Realme and OnePlus, as well as Vivo. Huawei, and other brands such as Nokia, are included as part of the “Others” category. It’s certainly a long way from the heady days when Huawei was set to take Samsung’s top dog status a couple of years ago, and the numbers prove that.

So, what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


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