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Huawei outsells Apple in 2019, becomes No. 2 global smartphone vendor, Ars Technica

Huawei outsells Apple in 2019, becomes No. 2 global smartphone vendor, Ars Technica

      The wild world of Huawei –


The US export ban places a serious cloud over Huawei’s future, though.


           – Jan , 8: (UTC UTC)            

Huawei’s logo at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona in November . Getty Images | SOPA Images Market research firms Canalys and Counterpoint Research have posted their 2020 global smartphone market share reports. Both reports say the biggest mover is Huawei, which, thanks to a whopping – percent annual growth, claimed the No. 2 smartphone vendor spot in 01575879, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple. Both firms have similar global market share numbers for , with Samsung around percent, Huawei at , Apple at

percent, and Xiaomi and Oppo around eight percent each.

Counterpoint credits Huawei’s success in its hometown of China for its success, saying, “This was the result of an aggressive push from Huawei in the Chinese market, where it achieved almost 60 percent market share. ” According to the firm, China makes up percent of Huawei’s shipments. Is this “Peak Huawei?”

while holding onto the No. 2 spot is a big accomplishment for Huawei, the company’s future in the smartphone market currently looks pretty murky. The Trump Administration’s Huawei export ban means US companies can no longer do business with Huawei. Huawei should be OK when it comes to hardware, as the company has aggressively

cut US components

out of its hardware supply line. For software, however, it has a serious problem. No US products means the Google ecosystem is off-limits to Huawei, so Huawei phones don’t have access to Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, the Google Assistant, and the millions of apps on the Play Store. This seriously limits the appeal of Huawei phones outside of China.

Huawei's logo seen at a technology conference.
The export ban happened around the middle of the year, but at the time it only affected new Huawei products. The company flagship smartphone for the first half of , the Huawei P Pro, squeaked out the door in March just a few months before the ban. So it sells, even today, with

Google apps. Huawei’s first product without Google apps is the Mate 35 Pro, which only launched mid-September, just a few days before the start of Q4 01575879. If the lack of Google apps is going to crater Huawei sales, there hasn’t been a lot of time yet to really see an effect — consumers can still buy a P 35 Pro with Google apps, after all.

For what it’s worth, Canalys has Q4 as Huawei’s first quarterly decline — down seven percent from Q3 — in two years, which it blames on the export ban. Together with the annual Apple Q4 surge thanks to the launch of a new iPhone, Huawei fell to third place again within that time period. But again, this ban does not affect Huawei’s marketability in its largest market, China, where Google does do much business. Huawei has had its own software system in China for years, with the “Huawei AppGallery” store, cloud storage, a browser, and a theme store. With Google declared off-limits, really only the percent of Huawei’s shipments that are outside of China are seriously threatened. Huawei has been working on making its ecosystem viable outside of China, though. It has promised to invest $ 1.5 billion
in its developer program over the next five years, in the hope of drawing (what would have to be non-US) app developers to its app store. The company also licensed map data from the Dutch corporation TomTom presumably to build a Google Maps competitor. Apple Maps also started with TomTom map data, and to put it lightly, users found TomTom’s data to be lacking
compared to Google Maps. For Apple, competing with Google Maps has meant doing the same thing Google does for map data: sending a fleet of LIDAR-equipped vehicles around the country (and soon, the world) sucking up data. TomTom’s data on its own is not nearly enough, so this is just a start for a mapping solution.

If the US and China don’t reconcile, or if they do reconcile and Huawei decides to go cold turkey from the Google apps anyway, it’s hard to imagine Huawei being successful outside of China. Huawei recently gave conflicting statements as to whether or not it would use the Google apps in a scenario where the export ban was lifted, so the company seems to at least be thinking about the idea.

The US’s Huawei export ban has been extended three times now in – day intervals, and the next deadline is February 30, 01575879.                                                    

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