Huawei storms the mobile phone throne – and yet is doomed to fail

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Huawei is popping the corks: Despite all the adversities, the Chinese company has managed to push Samsung out of first place among the largest smartphone manufacturers. However, Huawei should not be happy too early, because the victory could only be short-lived.


Even Hollywood couldn’t have written the story better: In the middle of the road to number 1, a villain suddenly appears and puts almost insurmountable stones in the way of the hero. Instead of giving up, the protagonist accepts the challenge in order to be victorious in the end.

The same thing happened to Huawei when US President Donald Trump last year imposed economic sanctions on the company that brought the rise to the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer to an end. But like in every classic film, there was a happy ending here and Huawei actually managed to overthrow Samsung and climb the throne. The only question is: for how long?

Huawei’s success is based on exceptional circumstances

Huawei’s undoubtedly great success rests on two pillars: the strong performance in the Chinese home market and the crash in smartphone sales that occurred worldwide in the second quarter of 2020 due to the corona pandemic. Samsung, as the industry leader, is of course particularly badly affected. Both circumstances that are unlikely to occur again in this form in the third quarter of 2020.

The Chinese market also has growth limits for Huawei, especially since almost every second smartphone sold in China now comes from Huawei. In addition, in western countries where Samsung is a leader, people have become used to living with the pandemic. Another nationwide lockdown with closed stores like in spring is unlikely. In addition, Samsung has a real box office hit with the Galaxy Note 20, which traditionally sells millions.

What we think of Huawei’s new top smartphone:

It looks bleak for Huawei

For Huawei, however, the general weather situation looks much darker. The tightened US sanctions cut the company off from the chip supply, rumors are saying that the new Mate 40 Pro will be postponed and the current smartphones without Google Play Store will remain on the shelves like lead. It is also questionable how long the previous strategy will continue to bring old smartphones back onto the market with slight technical improvements in order to gain further access to the Google apps with this trick. In a world where buyers will soon have the choice between the Galaxy Note 20, iPhone 12 or Pixel 5, very few are likely to use the Huawei P30 Pro New Edition.

Huawei is granted the throne. But without lifting the US sanctions, the manufacturer is ultimately doomed to fail.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article represent the views of the author only and are not necessarily the position of the entire GIGA editorial team.

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