The results of the fourth quarter of 2020 are here, which shows that the global smartphone shipments reached 359.6 million units. This figure shows a small decline of 2% year-on-year (YoY).
In Q4 2020, Apple became dominant by selling most iPhones ever in a single quarter and ranked first on the list of smartphone makers with 81.8 million units. This is a 4% growth compared to the last year.
Samsung slipped to the second and shipped 62 million units in the quarter with a 12% decline. Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo made their places inside the top 5 smartphone sellers.
However, for the first time in the last six years, Huawei ranked outside of the top 5 list and placed on teh sixth spot. The Chinese tech giant shipped 32 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2020 with over 40% YoY and 35% quarter on quarter (QoQ) decline.
Huawei smartphone market share decline:
This drastic decline in Huawei’s smartphone sales and market share is a result of the restrictions imposed under the U.S. Entity List in 2019, which prohibits the company from purchasing the U.S. made components and software services required to build new smartphones.
Following this action, Huawei phones cannot certify with Google Mobile Services (GMS), which is essential to run Google’s applications such as Play Store, Youtube Gmail, Google Maps, and more.
After that, the company introduced the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), which is a replacement for the GMS. In this case, the consumers need a bit more time to adopt a new software ecosystem compared to the GMS, of which they’re used.
The removal of Google apps seems to greatly affect the sales of new Huawei smartphones in the overseas markets but the home market remains stable because GMS is not required in the Chinese smartphone market.
In 2020, the U.S. further tighten the Entity List rules on Huawei and blocked access for the company to manufacturer HiSilicon made Kirin chipset design through chipmakers such as TSMC. This led the company to stop the production of high-end Kirin chipsets in the same year.
Following this event, Huawei also sold its subsidiary, Honor that highly affects Huawei’s overall smartphone sales, and industry experts believe that this partition with the subsidiary will bring a further collapse in Huawei’s smartphone sales.
Recently, ahead of the end of his presidency, Donald Trump canceled the licenses of all of the existing Huawei suppliers including U.S. chipmaker Intel.