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Huawei overtakes Samsung to become world’s biggest smartphone maker for the first time

Huawei has overtaken Samsung to claim the title of the world’s most popular smartphone maker.

A new report from analytics firm Canalys revealed the Chinese tech giant sold more phones worldwide than any other company for the first time.

The feat comes just two years after Huawei overtook Apple to become the world’s second biggest phone seller.

It is also the first time since 2011 that the top spot is held by a firm other than Apple or Samsung.

The achievement comes despite US government restrictions on Huawei’s business, which contributed to a drop in overseas shipments of 27 per cent.

Economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic also saw Samsung suffer a drop in sales, with global shipments dropping 30 per cent year-on-year.

“This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago,” said Canalys analyst Ben Stanton.

“If it wasn’t for Covid-19, it wouldn’t have happened. Huawei has taken full advantage of the Chinese economic recovery to reignite its smartphone business.”

China has recovered far more strongly than other major markets hit by the pandemic, with business more-or-less back to normal in most regions.

Domestic shipments for Huawei rose by 8 per cent in the second quarter, meaning China now accounts for over 70 per cent of the firm’s smartphone sales.

“Taking first place is very important for Huawei… “But it will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term,” said analyst Mo Jia.

“Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing new brands to reduce risk. Strength in China alone will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover.”

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