Huawei’s struggles hurt overall smartphone shipments in China, but rivals like Apple found new opportunities
The impact of United States government sanctions on Huawei is continuing to hurt the company and dampen overall smartphone shipments in China, where it is the largest smartphone vendor, according to a new report by Canalys. But Huawei’s decline also opens new opportunities for its main rivals, including Apple.
Canalys says Apple’s performance in China during the fourth-quarter of 2020 was its best in years, thanks to the iPhone 11 and 12. Its full-year shipments returned to its 2018 levels, and it reached its highest quarterly shipments in China since the end of 2015, when the iPhone 6s was launched.
Overall, smartphone shipments in China fell 11% to about 330 million units in 2020, with market recovery hindered by Huawei’s inability to ship new units. Even though demand in China for Huawei devices remains high, the company has struggled to cope with sanctions imposed by the U.S. government under the Trump administration that banned it from doing business with American companies and drastically curtailed its ability to procure new chips.
In May 2020, Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping said even though the firm can design some semiconductor components, like integrated circuits, it is “incapable of doing a lot of other things.”