China’s leading manufacturers, Huawei and Xiaomi are expecting to continue growing their respective reach into the global smartphone market in 2019, DigiTimes reports. According to sources who attended a recent supply chain gathering held by Huawei, the company has predicted that it will be able to increase delivery of its devices by as much as 25-percent. That would equate to around 200 million units moved over the next year. Xiaomi plans to ship as many as 160 million units — an increase of around 20-percent over 2018. Local competitors, Oppo and Vivo are similarly estimating further growth for their own brands but expect to be held back by the fact that their product lines are comparatively limited. Each OEM plans to grow its respective shipments by around 10-percent over the course of 2019.
Background: Despite the ambitious estimates made by top Chinese competitors and its own shortcomings over the past month or so, Samsung has continued to utterly dominate the smartphone market in terms of global shipments. According to the most recent report from IDC, the Korean tech giant’s global smartphone shipments for the third quarter of 2018 fell drastically by around 13.4-percent. In total, the company managed to move around 72.2 million units compared to the previous year’s third quarter count of around 83.3 million. Comparatively, Huawei and Xiaomi saw their shipments for that same period increased by 32.9-percent and 21.2-percent, landing at 52 million units and 34.3 million units for the quarter respectively. Those figures are in spite of stiff competition and market saturation in the two OEMs’ home region, in addition to an overall global drop in shipments of around 6-percent.
In Huawei’s case, that growth has been further compromised by increasing distrust for the company’s networking equipment. Huawei’s position in the UK — its largest western market — is the most recent example of that, with officials expressing concerns relating not to its handsets but to its networking technologies. The perceived threat stems from the edge computing-based nature of 5G and associated cloud networks. Hardware isolation has previously been implemented to prevent problems from occurring in critical connected systems but that isn’t necessarily a feasible solution with 5G. Conversely, the US has arguably been Huawei’s most staunch opponent in the mobile networking arena, with government officials and agencies warning various heads of state to avoid contracts with the company. While neither example affects the sales or shipments of Huawei smartphones, they undoubtedly have a combined impact on public perception of the manufacturer and its hardware.
Impact: Huawei’s continued growth in spite of its struggle to convince some of its trustworthiness, and its outlook for 2019, are a testament to the company’s resolve as well as the quality and value of its smartphones. Xiaomi has similarly continued to be a major world player too, although it hasn’t faced the same level of scrutiny as Huawei. At the same time, neither company has any real presence or sales in the US. Both are expected to continue working toward that goal but that will almost certainly prevent them from surpassing Samsung in terms of shipments. Regardless, both companies already seem to be well on track to meet their respective goals for the coming year.