Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies overtook Samsung as the world's biggest smartphone player for the first time in the second quarter of 2020, according to a report by research firm Canalys.
It is the first time a company other than Apple or Samsung has dominated the market in nine years, Canalys said on Thursday.
The company still faces trade sanctions from the United States and saw its overseas shipments fall 27% in Q2, according to Canalys. But its dominance of the Chinese market led to a boost in local shipments by 8%.
Owing to China's relatively fast recovery from Covid-19, Huawei now sells over 70% of its phones in its home market.
Although the Shenzhen-based firm posted a 5% dip in sales from the same quarter last year, South Korean competitor Samsung saw a more dramatic drop of over 30%, due to disruptions in key markets such as the US, Europe, and Brazil.
Huawei shipped 55.8 million devices in the second quarter, Canalys said, while Samsung shipped 53.7 million.
"This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago," Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton said. "If it wasn’t for COVID-19, it wouldn’t have happened."