Huawei slips down the podium among flagship smartphone brands in 2021

According to Omdia studies, Huawei found itself in seventh place among smartphone manufacturers in the world in 2021. Yet, the brand had already arrived at the top 3 in previous years. What are the reasons for this drop? We take stock.

Huawei made its debut in 1987, but we will not dwell on the adventures that the brand has gone through throughout its existence. Let’s get straight to the point, in 2020, when the firm rose to the top 3 of smartphone manufacturers in the world. With 188.5 million products delivered, including shipments from its former subsidiary Honor, the Chinese tech giant trailed Apple in second place (207.1 million) and Samsung in first place (255.6 million).

The previous year, in 2019, Huawei held second place with 240 million phones shipped worldwide. Samsung was already ahead (298 million), while Apple was below (198.1 million). To slow down the rise of the Chinese company, the United States invoked the principle of security and implemented various restrictions against Huawei.

Huawei deprived of Google applications

As you are no doubt aware, among the sanctions taken by the Americans against Huawei is the denial of access to Google services, including Android. Huawei mobiles can no longer integrate Google applications like search function, Maps, Play Store and many other common services. This deprivation mainly affects the international versions of the brand’s products. In China, where the majority of Google apps were already blocked, this provision didn’t really have a big impact. As a result, Huawei’s global shipments were bound to decline, with the majority of the public being accustomed to Google apps.

Huawei cut from its US supply chain

As if deprivation of Google services were not enough, the United States has placed Huawei on the list of companies not authorized to trade with American supply chains. The restrictions particularly concern chipmakers using American technology. Due to the change in export rules, the Kirin 9000 5G processors could not be delivered in time for the development of the Huawei P50 and P50 Pro. The Chinese company took the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 as an alternative.

Huawei sells Honor

To get Honor out of the US embargo, Huawei sold its subsidiary to a Chinese consortium towards the end of 2020. The price was set at $15 billion. This separation has not been without impact on the operation of the Chinese giant, but has allowed the Honor brand to access Google software and the latest 5G processors.

Alls these events explain the regression of Huawei’s global shipments in 2021 which fell by 81.6% to only 35 million units. Its market share has also been reduced to 3%, while in 2020 the company held 15%…

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