In its Q1 earnings report in April, Samsung had warned that sales of smartphones were likely to "decline significantly" as Covid-19 took its toll on demand and led to store and plant closures around the world. According to market analyst Canalys, Samsung's second-quarter smartphone sales of 53.7 million mark a 30% decrease compared with the same period past year, with important markets such as the US, India, Brazil, and many European countries struggling to deal with the global situation.
"Our business has demonstrated exceptional resilience in these hard times".
The US government put Huawei in an "Entity List" in May 2019 which required US firms to obtain a license to export domestically produced chips and software. According to research data from Shanghai's CINNO Research, Apple was the fastest-growing smartphone brand in China with a reported 225-percent increase compared to the previous quarter.
"This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago", said Canalys' senior analyst, Ben Stanton.
Huawei's dominance was largely fueled by its growth in China, which has seen better recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic than other markets like the US'. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said sales actually grew 6% on a constant-currency basis, propelled by demand for Macs and iPads from millions now accustomed to working from home.
Both totals are down on the year, by 5% for Huawei and a crippling 30% for the South Korean rival.
It's obviously a unique set of circumstances and it will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term as worldwide markets start to bounce back. "Strength in China alone will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover", he added. Xiaomi's shipments, on the other hand, declined 10.7 percent YoY to 28.9 million units.
The British government bowed to growing United States pressure and pledged earlier this month to remove Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, despite opposition from Beijing. As a result, the Chinese company has a almost non-existent market share in the US. LG shipped 24.4 percent fewer smartphones, at 6.7 million units, than last year's 8.9 million units.
The decision came after the government's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) assessed the impact of U.S. government's ban on Huawei equipment.
Huawei has yet to publicly address the impact these curbs will have on its operations. They're not indicative of any sizable gains by Huawei; in fact, the Canalys data suggests Huawei saw an overall sales decline of 5% from previous year.