Huawei has struggled valiantly to become the world's third largest smartphone vendor, but analyst Brian White of Drexel Hamilton thinks that they can go further, and even overtake Samsung to claim the Android crown and fight on level with Apple. According to White, he expects some entity or another from the Chinese smartphone scene to be the one to knock Samsung off the Android throne, and Huawei seems like the most likely candidate. Recently, they held close to 11% of the smartphone market, compared to Samsung's 18%, so while industry watchers and Samsung fans may be taken aback by the audacity of such a proposal, it could actually be quite feasible in the near future.
Venture investor Hans Tung shares White's sentiment. Tung says that Samsung is at a disadvantage against Apple, who controls the hardware and software of their devices, and can thus "really differentiate", while Samsung's best efforts, such as the recent Galaxy S8 unveiling, have largely failed to generate the consumer enthusiasm necessary to dethrone Apple. Tung also points to an integrated hardware and software ecosystem that can work cohesively across devices. This is an area where Apple excels, and where Samsung is just beginning to pick up steam, such as with their announcement of Samsung Connect at their Unpacked event yesterday. Xiaomi was mentioned as another player who's trying to create an ecosystem around their products.
While it may take some time, the relative lack of hype around Samsung Unpacked is evidence enough that somebody very well could overtake Samsung. For the time being, nobody has outed a flagship device that can trump the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus by virtue of exciting features or raw power, but given time, OEMs like OnePlus, Xiaomi, and of course Huawei, could all roll out powerful, compelling devices. It should be noted that the 2017 refresh of Lenovo's Moto Z is rumored to be powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor as the Galaxy S8, though rumors thus far point to a lack of truly exciting features outside of the modularity that the 2016 model introduced. Still, it's a crowded arena at this point, and it looks like things will only heat up from here; Samsung may have some breathing room, but these analysts' assertions that the biggest fish in the Android pond may need to watch its back look somewhat credible.