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Huawei bracing for a precipitous collapse in global smartphone sales

Huawei is facing the grim reality of a colossal loss of smartphone sales in the tens of millions. (Source: Huawei)
Huawei is facing the grim reality of a colossal loss of smartphone sales in the tens of millions. (Source: Huawei)
Huawei is forecasting a calamitous drop in smartphones sales across the globe following the Trump Administration's decision to blacklist the Chinese company. According to Bloomberg, the embattled company is expecting sales to drop by between 40 million to 60 million units torpedoing its ambitions to overtake Samsung as the number one smartphone maker in the world.

With access to ARM-based chip designs and Google's Android operating system off the table, among other disastrous outcomes of the Trump Administration decision to blacklist it, Huawei is anticipating a precipitous fall in global smartphone sales. According to estimates provided by Bloomberg, the company is expecting to lose sales of between 40 million and 60 million units, particularly in global markets. While the Google Play Store isn't an important factor in China, it is considered an essential feature in smartphones shipping outside of the country.

Huawei has even considered pulling the global launch of smartphones like the new Honor 20, which is set to debut in European markets on June 21. Two of France's largest carriers are said to have scuttled their own plans to add the phone to their line ups given the uncertainty facing Huawei and potential issues with software support. At this stage sources say Huawei will go ahead with the launch but will monitor sales closely and pull the pin if it fails to gain traction.

To help offset the enormous forecast decline in its global market share, Huawei is said to be doubling down on its efforts within China. According to well-known TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Huawei could push its Chinese market share up to as high as 45 percent, up from the previous estimates of 30-35 percent. It could achieve this with more aggressive marketing and by adding additional distribution channels. While that will offset some of the sales losses, it by no means will cover them.

Before the Trump ban, Huawei had reached the number two rank in global smartphone sales having overtaken Apple in 2018. It had set its sights on Samsung's number one position, but the Korean giant's execs will be breathing sighs of relief as it has been losing market share to Huawei and its fellow Chinese smartphone makers including OnePlus and Oppo. Huawei recently postponed the launch of the Mate X and given the latest news, it would not surprise to see the Mate 30 get a China-only launch unless Huawei can conjure up a viable alternative to Android.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-06-17 (Update: 2019-06-17)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.