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Huawei’s smartphone battles are hitting hard in China



US trade bans on Huawei have a very tangible effect on the company’s home sales. Counterpoint Research now estimates that Huawei’s market share in China fell to 16 percent in January 2021. For context, the technology giant had a 41 percent share in the first quarter of 2020. Although the calculations are not completely comparable (and Counterpoint is shy of numbers), it has clearly been a sharp fall.

Huawei’s decision to sell the Honor brand played a role, but Counterpoint put the decline largely on US restrictions. With components such as processors and 5G modems in short supply, Huawei is focusing on low-volume premium phones such as the Mate 40 Pro to get the most out of its limited inventory.

The fall from grace has already changed the dynamics of the Chinese market. Oppo became the country̵

7;s top brand for the first time ever in January and claimed a 21 percent share, while the sibling brand Vivo was not far behind with 20 percent. Huawei was bound to share with Apple and Xiaomi at 16 percent each.

The future does not look bright for Huawei. Analysts expect it to continue its decline through 2021. Competition is not standing still either. Oppo is ready to launch its flagship Find X3 phones on March 11, and has increased sales of less expensive devices with the Reno 5 and A-Series. Meanwhile, Xiaomi recently launched the Mi 11. Although Honor can continue the spirit of Huawei’s work, it’s clear that Huawei itself is facing bleak prospects in the months ahead.


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