Huawei rebounds to overtake Samsung as biggest global smartphone manufacturer

The Huawei P40 Pro has just had its price slashed

The Chinese tech company shipped 55.8 million devices during April, May and June, overtaking Samsung, its closest rival.

The global smartphone market slumped 24 per ent year-over-year in the second quarter of this year to 271.4 million units, registering the fastest ever rate of decline, a Counterpoint Research report said on Friday. Users also have to download apps through Huawei's own app store, not the Google Play store. Senior Canalys Analyst Ben Stanton stated that going forwards "geopolitical uncertainty also hangs over the global smartphone market".

Sanctions aimed at crippling Huawei are part of a broader global battle between the USA and China over technology and trade. The company has faced restrictions on the sale of its products in the US due to privacy concerns and is now in conflict with the British government over the removal of its technology from the 5G network.

Canalys estimate shipments in the worldwide markets fell 27% year-on-year for Huawei, with Mainland China now accounting for 70% of the total.

Meanwhile, Canalys says South Korea-based Samsung continues to be a strong player on the global market, but has only about a 1-percent market share in China.

"Our business has demonstrated exceptional resilience in these hard times", Huawei has said in a statement.

While this can be considered a good quarter for the Chinese smartphone giant, the bigger picture doesn't seem to favour Huawei.

Another Chinese manufacturer, Xiaomi, is fourth with a market share of 10.2%. Smartphone makers dominant in other countries are still struggling as new virus cases continue to rise. The report states that the Q3 decline will show up both year-over-year and month-over-month (aka sequentially) and would appear following a huge sequential second-quarter surge of 104.6%. The South Korean firm sold 53.7 million units in the last quarter.

Earlier this month, the United Kingdom government revealed that Huawei equipment will be banned from the UK's 5G networks due to security concerns.

The growth in shipments comes as Huawei struggles to do global business amid pressure from the United States.

It remains unclear how much of Huawei's second-quarter sales were driven by its 5G smartphones and high-end models that are most vulnerable to the restrictions, said Nicole Peng, vice president of Mobility at Canalys.