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How Will the Smartphone Market Play Out after Huawei Ban?

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Huawei was the fastest growing smartphone manufacturer

Huawei has revised its smartphone estimates for 2019. The company expects smartphone shipments to decline by a hefty 40.0% to 60.0% year-over-year this year. With the US ban, Huawei might look to develop an operating system to replace Google’s (GOOGL) Android.

However, it will be difficult to convince users to switch to a home-built operating system, especially since the company has been accused of espionage. There will also be security concerns, which could severely dent Huawei’s standing in the global smartphone market. Huawei had gained significant market share in 2018. In fact, it was easily the fastest growing smartphone company in the last 15 months, according to research firm IDC. Huawei’s smartphone shipments rose 33.6% year-over-year to 206 million units in 2018. This was compared to a fall of 4.1% of total smartphone shipments.

In the first quarter of 2019, Huawei’s shipments rose 50.3% to 59.1 million units, compared to a fall of 6.6% globally. Huawei also managed to displace Apple from the second position, as the former accounted for 19.0% of the smartphone market.

At the end of Q1 2019, Samsung (SSNLF) continued to lead the market with a share of 23.1%. Other top companies included Apple (AAPL) and China’s (FXI) heavyweights Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO at 11.7%, 8.0%, 7.5%, and 7.4%, respectively.

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Apple likely to gain market share

Apple (AAPL) is likely to regain its position as the second largest smartphone player after Huawei’s ban. Apple smartphone shipments fell significantly by 30.2% YoY to 36.4 million devices in the first quarter of 2019.

However, the Huawei ban will most likely increase demand for Apple devices and help the company regain lost ground.

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