Huawei’s issues with US hits smartphone sales in EU

Huawei’s recent issues with the US unsurprisingly took a toll on the company’s smartphone share in Europe’s five major markets, with Samsung and Xiaomi the main beneficiaries, figures from consultancy Kantar showed.

In a statement, Kantar said Android devices accounted for 80.1 per cent of all smartphones sold across France, Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy (the EU5) during Q2, up 0.6 percentage points year-on-year, while iOS dropped 0.8 points.

However, Huawei, which was placed on a US trade blacklist and suspended from accessing Android updates on its devices during the period, was negatively impacted as a result.

“The impact of adverse headlines is clear in the data,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global director for Kantar.

While Huawei’s share was up year-on-year, on a sequential basis it was down 1.9 points in the EU5 markets, most tellingly, June versus May 2019 share is down 9 points.”

Sunnebo said Samsung and Xiaomi capitalised on Huawei’s declines, while Apple also saw a small uptick in sales.

“There are signs Huawei owners are putting off upgrading, likely waiting for clarity on the future situation. If this continues to be the case and the dispute is resolved it might mean that the majority of sales are delayed rather than lost to competitors, but the speed at which a resolution is found will determine this,”

Notably, Huawei received a boost in the last week, as the US government indicated it could be set to ease restrictions.

In other highlights from the period, Kantar said Apple and Samsung’s sales slid in the US, while Motorola and Google continued a resurgence.

Motorola’s market share hit 8 per cent in the period, up 3 per cent on Q218, while the iPhone XR also performed well.

The trade war between the US and China also didn’t seem to affect Apple’s performace in the latter, with iOS share edging up to 19.7 per cent in urban China.

Gartner numbers
Analyst company Gartner also released device data, with the company forecasting global shipments would decline 3 per cent in 2019 to 2.2 billion units.

It said the mobile phone market will be the worst performing device type, declining 3.8 per cent in total as users find fewer reasons to upgrade.

This trend, Gartner said, will continue and the problem will also increase over the next four years.

“The trend for lengthening mobile phone lifespan began in 2018 and will continue through 2019. Gartner predicts that high-end phone lifespan will increase from 2.6-years to nearly 2.9-years through 2023,” it said.

It also forecast 5G phones will see significant traction in 2023, when they will account for 51 per cent of total phone sales. In 2020, this figure will stand at just 6 per cent, as carriers continue to expand their 5G coverage beyond major cities.

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