It’s less than two years since Huawei was the biggest-selling smartphone maker in the world. True, it only held this position for a month or two, before sinking to a strong second place, behind Samsung.
Huawei execs have told me in the past that being number one was easy and that there were more important things to think about. However, the latest figures from Trendforce show a precipitous fall from grace for the Chinese brand. In the last year, the brand has swapped second place for third as Apple’s iPhone sales have increased, but in several months the two companies were neck-and-neck.
The latest statistics suggest that the current position is not third, but seventh, a huge downgrade.
There are two reasons for this. The biggest one, and one that’s been going for well over a year now, is the effect of the sanctions put in place by the U.S. government, which have tightened so that not only is the company prohibited from dealing with companies like Google to allow Google Mobile Services on its phones, but third-party companies are forbidden from dealing with Huawei, too.
This led to TSMC stopping production of its Kirin 9000 chips for Huawei in September, meaning that when the stockpile of advanced processors runs out, there won’t be any more.
The sanctions were originally introduced to stop Huawei becoming involved in the United States’ 5G infrastructure, but, as fellow contributor Zak Doffman eloquently points out, this has had a calamitous effect on the company’s smartphone business, too.
But it’s also down to something Huawei did, as well. Recently, Huawei sold off its sub-brand, Honor. Honor makes brilliant and affordable smartphones with similar-but-different features to the ones in Huawei’s devices.
The sale reduced the size…