Executive: Huawei and Apple would have dominated without US sanctions

If the US government hadn’t intervened in placing exacting sanctions on the company, Huawei would have joined Apple in dominating the global smartphone market.

That’s the claim being made by Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu, at any rate. He also took the opportunity to take a pop at Samsung, the company Huawei was actively attempting to overhaul before those sanctions decimated its market position.

In comments made at an automotive forum in China (machine translated, it must be noted) and reported by ITHome, Yu stated that “If it weren’t for the US’s intervention and suppression of us, the world’s major mobile phone manufacturers might be Huawei and Apple.”

When asked about Samsung’s role in this alternate future, Yu was surprisingly dismissive. “Others are small manufacturers, including the Korean company, which may be mainly sold in the US and South Korea markets,” he said. Needless to say the small Korean manufacturer Yu referenced here was Samsung.

This is quite a claim given that Samsung was the number one smartphone manufacturer even before Huawei was hit by those US sanctions. However, Huawei was undoubtedly on the rise at the time. Having overtaken Apple, it had Samsung in its sights for the number one spot.

Whether Huawei and Apple would have dominated without US sanctions or not, it’s difficult to accept that Samsung would have been a “small manufacturer” given its formidable reach and dominant position in the smartphone component supply chain.

That future smartphone dominance wasn’t to be, of course, and the article points out that Huawei’s market share in its home market plummeted a staggering 68% between 2020 and 2021. This dropped Huawei from the top spot in China to sixth place behind Vivo, Oppo, Apple, Xiaomi, and even erstwhile budget sub-brand Honor.

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