Huawei became the largest smartphone supplier in the world in the second quarter this year, dethroning Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (OTC:SSNLF), according to data from research firm Canalys.
Q2 Sales: The Chinese telecommunications company shipped 55.8 million devices in Q2, down 5% from the similar period a year ago.
On second place, Samsung shipped 53.7 million devices, a whopping drop of 30% from Q2 2019.
According to Canalys, this is the first time in nine years that a company other than the South Korean behemoth or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has led the market in a quarter.
China Leads The Way: The disruption in the industry comes as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused a massive slump in smartphone sales worldwide in Q2.
Economic activity in China, where the COVID-19 outbreak was first reported, resumed earlier than other major smartphone markets as community spread became restricted.
Huawei made about 72% of its sales in the country alone.
A Short Run At The Top: Canalys analyst Mo Jia noted that the Shenzhen-based company's run at the top is unlikely to last long.
"Strength in China alone will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover," Mo said.
"Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing in new brands to reduce risk."
Apple's Rise In China: Huawei faces another challenge in Apple's continued growth in the country.
The Cupertino-based consumer electronics giant sold 13 million devices in China in Q2, according to data from CINNO Research reported earlier.
This was a 62% year-on-year and 225% quarter-on-quarter growth for Apple, and made it the fastest growing smartphone maker in the country.
The Tim Cook-led company also appears to be looking to increase its compliance with the Chinese government — cracking down on apps on its platform that don't have proper regulatory approval.