Sales of Huawei smartphones in Europe have taken a significant dip in recent months as uncertainty continues about whether the firm will be permitted access to key software and components as part of the US and China’s ongoing trade war.
Figures from Kantar revealed the company lost around a third of its market share in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy in the second quarter of the year.
At the start of May this year, Huawei was responsible for around 25 per cent of smartphone sales across the EU’s five biggest economies, but it took a big drop after the US added the firm to its Entity List on May 20th, and by June 1st, its market share had slipped to 16.4 per cent.
This saw it drop into third place behind Samsung and Apple, though fellow Chinese brand Xiaomi also benefited from Huawei’s woes, adding around two percentage points to its European market share between May and June.
Despite the impact of the US ban, however, Huawei still finished Q2 ahead of where it was 12 months earlier, which illustrates how strong its growth had been over the last year until the recent controversy.
Commenting on the report, global director at Kantar Dominic Sunnebo said: “There are signs Huawei owners are putting off upgrading – likely waiting for clarity on the future situation.
“If this continues to be the case and the dispute is resolved it might mean that the majority of sales are delayed rather than lost to competitors, but the speed at which a resolution is found will determine this.”
One of the biggest consequences of a ban on US suppliers selling to Huawei would be losing access to Google apps and services such as Youtube, the Google Play Store and future OS and security upgrades. Therefore, Huawei has been working on its own operating system as a contingency plan should this happen.