Huawei topples Apple to become second-largest brand in 2019 - The Hindu BusinessLine




          Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 30, 2020 Published on January 30, 2020


          Chinese telecom giant Huawei surpassed Apple to become the second-largest brand in 2019, despite sanctions in the US, due to an aggressive push in the Chinese market, according to a study by Counterpoint Research.

          This was the result of an aggressive push from Huawei in the Chinese market, where it achieved almost 40 per cent market share. China accounted for over 60 per cent of Huawei’s total shipments. Outside China, Huawei is trying to continue selling its older devices, the study said.

          Samsung topped the charts with the company shipping 296.6 million units, followed by Huawei at 238.5 million units and Apple at 196.2 million units in calendar year 2019.

          “There have been growing tensions among several countries that have impacted the smartphone market. For example, the US pressure on Huawei, and tensions between Japan-Korea that led to uncertainties in the memory market. Supply chains have been upset, causing various companies to rethink their strategies and reduce dependence on single markets,” Varun Mishra, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, said.

          “The year 2020 will likely see efforts to further diversify investments across geographies to mitigate risks. The current Coronavirus outbreak in China is the latest issue to threaten supply chains,” he added.

          In the fourth quarter of 2019, Apple gained the top spot in the global smartphone market with iPhone 11 series beating expectations, and iPhone revenues were up year-on-year for the first time since September 2018.

          Apple iPhone shipments grew 11 per cent YoY in Q4, even without a 5G variant. The iPhone 11 series received an “excellent” consumer response in all regions. The dual-camera, and lower pricing of iPhone 11 than the XR at the same point last year, helped propel sales, the study said.

          Apple’s Service revenue grew 17 per cent YoY in the reporting fourth quarter, reaching a record high in many categories including music, Cloud and Apple Care. Apple will focus on new areas and services to generate new revenue streams, it added.

          Samsung remained flat in Q4, while grew 2 per cent YoY for CY 2019. Samsung has been one of the leading players in 5G in 2019, shipping over 6.5 million 5G capable devices in 2019.

          The global smartphone market declined 1 per cent on a YoY basis in CY 2019, the first time it declined in two consecutive years. However, the decline was slower than in 2018 (4 per cent YoY). The smartphone market actually grew 3 per cent YoY in Q4 2019, indicating signs of a recovery and is expected in 2020.

          Smartphone makers also brought several innovations in 2019 paving the way for what will be mainstream in future. Foldable displays, punch hole displays, higher megapixel cameras, higher refresh rate displays, in-display sensors, optical zoom, and super-fast charging to name a few. Some features were quickly adopted across the price range, giving consumers a variety of capable smartphones to choose from at affordable prices.

          “The year 2019 also saw the deployment and initial adoption of 5G, especially in the US, Europe, China and Korea. With chipset players, operators and OEMs all preparing aggressively for 2020 and working towards bringing the prices of 5G down, the foundation for the 2020 growth has already been laid. The transition from 4G to 5G in the developed markets and the continued transition from 3G to 4G, feature phones to smartphones and upgrades will lead the smartphone market to grow in the coming year,” Research Analyst, Abhilash Kumar said in the report.

          Published on January 30, 2020

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