Calling Samsung a “small factor” definitely doesn’t sound right, as Huawei spent years upon years trying to catch up with the South Korea-based company. Once it did actually overtake Samsung, Huawei sadly dipped down due to the effects of the trade ban hitting hard.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei, offered his thoughts on the potential state of the mobile market in 2022 if the US had not placed sanctions against Huawei in a game of “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve”. Mr. Yu claims that Huawei and Apple “could be the world’s biggest mobile phone makers if it weren’t for the US’s meddling and suppression of [Huawei].” Additionally, South Korea was targeted as Huawei’s CEO grouped Samsung with all other competitors, alleging that “Others are minor manufacturers, including the Korean company (Samsung), which may be mostly offered in the US and South Korea markets.”
Surely, there’s no way of knowing how things would have transpired if the US hadn’t placed Huawei on the Entity List and essentially enforced its trade ban. Due to it, Huawei was prevented from using Google’s Play Services framework, which stripped away one of the most vital aspects of a modern Android device. The Entity List also prevented the company from working with any company that operates in the United States, as well as prevented them from receiving cutting edge chips.
As a refresher, Huawei was gradually creeping up to the very top of the phone market traditionally ruled by Samsung and Apple. Actually briefly surpassed Samsung in market in April 2020, a whole year after the infamous US trade ban went into effect. At the time, driven by strong sales across mainland China, Huawei surpassed Samsung by 2% market share and accounted for 19% of all global phone sales, while Samsung’s share was 17% due to the lackluster Galaxy S20 series, all according to Counterpoint Research’s 2020 stats.