Huawei has been under the Trump Ban since mid-May, with forecasted profit decline, but a new prediction says that the Chinese vendor could still go on to sell 260 million smartphones by the end of 2019.
Analyst Guo Minghao says that previously, he predicted Huawei would sell 180 million units. The 260 million prediction, a new one no doubt, far beyond the 210-220 million units Minghao conceived as possible for Huawei, is due to the improvement in trade talks between China and Washington.
With US President Donald J. Trump having somewhat lifted the ban and allowing American high-tech companies to sell to Huawei, and granting new selling licenses for Huawei, Huawei could very well have the silicon chipsets it needs to make its smartphones a bit more competitive in Europe than its forced dependence on Chinese manufacturers has been.
At one point, it was said that Huawei wasn't certain Chinese manufacturers could keep up with the same pace as American manufacturers regarding mobile device components.
Minghao says that the question of Google recertification in Android is a plausible one and that Huawei could be on track to be recertified in Android before year's end, even if after the August 19th deadline. If Google doesn't recertify Huawei, Shenzhen's Pride could still go on to sell 230 million smartphones, an impressive feat for any company.
And yet, for all its stunning sales, Huawei is on target to fall beneath its expected goal of toppling Samsung as the world's number one smartphone maker. The company had its sights set on supplanting Samsung after overtaking Apple as the No. 2 seller, but will fall short of its goal due to the Trump Ban, Huawei's placement on the US Entity List, and its 40-60% smartphone sales decline in Europe in places like Spain and Germany.
Huawei could go on to have an impressive year, possibly see itself recertified within Android, but that won't change the fact that its smartphone sales are because of its privileged status in China with Beijing. Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon said some time ago after hearing a troubling security report about Huawei from Finite State that Huawei's privileged status and government subsidies in China made it hard for Nokia to compete in China. That explains why Huawei pretty much has all of China wrapped up. Even Chinese rival Xiaomi is having to invest more money into its products to ward off Huawei's growth in its home country.
While Huawei could still come out of this somewhat healthy and thriving, there's no doubt that the Shenzhen-based smartphone maker will take a financial hit. Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has said that Huawei will lose $30 billion over the next two years, and Huawei's sales have brought about a decline in the company's brand in Europe. There, few customers want a Huawei smartphone if it doesn't have Android. Sources say that Huawei could create a Nova sub-brand to add to its Honor sub-brand in order to sell more phones because few consumers know that Honor is a Huawei brand.
Without Google recertification in Android, Huawei's smartphone sales look pretty positive. But at this point, Huawei is starting to look like a local top seller, one who can only sell successfully to those in its home country — driven in part by Beijing's support. To be a global success, one must be able to sell around the world in all markets, including the US. Huawei, for all its success, is still on the Entity List and is still considered to be a threat to national security here in the US. And the US is still encouraging its international allies to keep Huawei away from 5G network rollouts.
Even with impressive smartphone sales, Huawei's reputation won't be as salvageable in the here and now. Despite Trump's "olive branch" talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, if Huawei truly is a national security risk, consumers will still be wary of Huawei smartphones once the dust settles. 260 million smartphones sold, in China alone, isn't all that impressive when sold in one's own backyard.