A massive sales boom by Chinese telecom giant Huawei has sparked a turnaround in the world’s largest smartphone market after several quarters of slowdown.
Huawei saw its sales surge 83% in the first four weeks of October, according to data from Hong Kong-based research firm Counterpoint on Tuesday.
Counterpoint China analyst Archie Zhang noted that the jump in Huawei’s sales, brought on by its newly-launched Mate 60 smartphones, also triggered a “halo effect” for other vendors in China’s smartphone market.
“The clear standout in October has been Huawei, with its turnaround on the back of its Mate 60 series devices. Growth has been stellar,” Zhang said.
“Demand continues to be high double-digits and we’re also seeing a halo effect, with other models from the vendor performing well.”
Among other high-performers was China’s Xiaomi — the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world — with a 33% increase in smartphone sales in October.
The Counterpoint data did not provide specifics on US tech giant Apple’s performance in China for the period.
The launch — right in the middle of a visit to Beijing by US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo — was seen as a significant win by the firm over Washington’s sanctions that drove the once global tech giant to the brink of collapse.
It fuelled a Huawei vs Apple sentiment in China, with many Chinese users shunning the purchase of a ‘US firm-made’ phone and campaigning for Huawei as the more ‘patriotic’ choice.
That translated to Apple losing its grip on the Chinese-market and Huawei clinching its top spot in terms of market share, according to a CNBC report citing Jefferies analysts.
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Obstacles remain for Huawei
Strong sales growth at Huawei helped power an 11% rise in China’s total smartphone shipments in October, Counterpoint data showed.
China’s smartphone market has seen sales fall over several quarters, with a 3% drop in the quarter ending June, according to Counterpoint.
Analysts expect the market may be poised for a rebound, with research firm IDC predicting unspecified year-on-year sales growth in the fourth quarter after 10 consecutive quarters of falling shipments.
As for Huawei, however, Counterpoint said there could be lingering bottlenecks as it may still experience certain production issues.
“Huawei’s ability to scale up to this new normal will be a major determinant not just for their own growth, but for the broader market,” senior Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam said.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena