On Thursday, Huawei will release the P40, and like the Mate 30 it will be released without Google services. Huawei itself predicted late last year that the impact of the US blacklist will be worse this year. China has been Huawei’s saving grace but with Corona we’re seeing smartphone sales drop by YOY by 38% for February.
Strategy Analytics released a report showing the massive drop in smartphone sales, which is mainly due to the COVID-19 outbreak that “disrupted supply chain and depressed customer demand”. They estimate global shipments in February dropped from 99M in 2019 to 62M in 2020.
If we take a closer look there is some bad news in these numbers for Huawei. Their February shipments dropped from 12.2 million units in January to 5.5 million units. While Apple went from (16.0 million to 10.2 million) and Samsung (20.1 million to 18.2 million). Huawei’s drop was the biggest and it seems like a worrying trend.
According to Strategy Analytics, Huawei’s last five months have shown a steady decline, down from 22.2 million in October to 5.5 million in February. The company shipped 22.2 million units in October, 19.6 million in November, 14.2 million in December, 12.2 million in January and just 5.5 million in February. Given the pandemic, it is unlikely that March will offer any respite.
Samsung is still holding on to the number one spot globally, Huawei was in second and Apple third. The order of this list is likely to change if Huawei has another month where their shipments are only 30% of Samsung’s.
The bigger Picture
As if Huawei didn’t have enough to worry about taking on Samsung and Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are gunning for them. In China, Xiaomi just took third place away from Huawei for the first time ever. They shipped 6M units and Huawei dropped to fourth shipping 5.5M.
In China Huawei’s sales dropped 70% YOY from February 2019 to 2020. Xiaomi is only down 30%.
Huawei’s domestic competitors don’t have supply chain restrictions as they push into Europe. And they’re all coming. Xiaomi had two launches this week, Vivo is getting ready to make waves in the Spring and Oppo had their first international launch with the Find X2.
Earlier this month, the CEO and founder of Xiaomi put down a very public challenge to Huawei, announcing on Weibo that “we will go all out in the high-end market,” which until now has been seen as Huawei’s domain, with a huge 80% market share.
China is beginning to return to normal as international markets enter into lock-down.
Unless Huawei addresses the problems that caused global sales to lag with the Mate 30, the P40 may suffer the same fate. An industry leading phone in handcuffs.
Let’s hope that Huawei does come out with an official “Work Around” to help users install missing apps and functionality.