China and the United States have been hit by science and technology wars, and the mainland 5G giant Huawei has been banned. Fitch Ratings believes that the chaos caused by Sino-US trade disputes has the opportunity to strengthen Samsung Electronics’ position in the structurally weak smartphone market. In other words, swearing, Samsung is profitable!

Smartphone shipments fell for 6 consecutive quarters

Fitch believes that Huawei’s “discontinued” Android operating system by Google may seriously affect Huawei’s smartphone sales outside China, which may help Samsung increase its market share. The agency also expects smartphone makers to continue to face challenges in 2019 due to weak demand in developed markets and weaker replacement cycles.

According to International Data Corporation, smartphone shipments fell by 6.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019. In the first quarter of 2019, smartphone manufacturers shipped a total of 311 million units, which was the sixth consecutive quarter of decline.

However, the data shows that Huawei’s “resistance to resilience” is the only major smartphone manufacturer to achieve shipment growth, and the growth rate is as high as 50%. Fitch said that Huawei has strengthened its market position as the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by offering a variety of high-quality devices at attractive prices. The market share of Huawei’s smartphone shipments has increased from 12% in the first quarter of 2018 to 19% in the first quarter of 2019, and the gap with Samsung’s 23% market share has further narrowed.  

Samsung or regain market share

On the other hand, Samsung’s mobile phone business contracted in the first quarter of 2019, with revenue and operating profit down 6% and 40% year-on-year respectively. Although the launch of the flagship Galaxy S10 series of new machines, Samsung’s shipments in the first quarter of 2019 still fell by 8.1% year-on-year to 71.9 million units. Under the double impact of Sino-US trade disputes and increased competition from Huawei’s high-end smartphones, Apple’s iPhone shipments in the first quarter of 2019 fell by 30.2% year-on-year. The price cuts in the Chinese market for the entire quarter and the trade-in offers in many markets are still not enough to drive customers to buy new machines.

Fitch believes that US companies are restricted to provide Huawei with the hardware, software and components needed for smartphone business, which may curb Huawei’s development momentum and set off the turmoil in the smartphone industry. Consumers accustomed to the Android operating system may consider buying other brands of smartphones other than Huawei, so Samsung may regain market share, especially in Europe, Asia (excluding China) and South America, which is the majority of Huawei’s recent quarters. Source of growth. As of the end of 2018, 49% of Huawei’s revenue came from markets outside China.

Grab the 5G folding screen mobile phone first

As for the other rival Apple in the market, Fitch believes that it may be another victim of the Sino-US trade war. Its share in the Chinese market may accelerate and it will benefit other Chinese smartphone brands.

In addition, Huawei is Samsung’s biggest competitor in the next generation of smartphones such as 5G folding screen phones. Trade issues between the United States and Huawei may give Samsung a chance to take the lead in these markets, but the actual situation will depend on the duration of US sanctions on Huawei. British and Japanese companies have followed the US, delaying the release of Huawei’s 5G smartphones, which may help promote sales of Samsung and LG Electronics Co., Ltd. – at least in the short term, Samsung and LG are among the few 5G handset manufacturers that can be marketed.

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