In China's high-end smartphone market, there are only two suppliers - Apple and Huawei, Canalys analyst Mo Jia said recently.
With Huawei under US sanctions, the outlook for Apple, which has the latest 5G product lineup, is very positive in China baring any black swan events, Jia said.
According to Canalys, Huawei shipped 55.8 million devices in the second quarter, down 5 percent year-on-year. But Samsung, in second place, shipped 53.7 million smartphones, down 30 percent from the second quarter of 2019.
Huawei's overseas shipments were down 27 percent in the second quarter, but it has dominated the domestic market, with Huawei's shipments in China up 8 percent in the second quarter and it now has more than 70 percent market share of smartphones in mainland China.
Canalys data shows that China has become the world's largest premium smartphone market, with shipments of $600-plus Chinese smartphones at 11 million units in the second quarter of 2019 growing to 14.5 million units in the second quarter of 2020, a 32.3 percent increase.
Jia said that in the second quarter of this year, China's high-end smartphone market above $600 even surpassed the United States to become the world's largest high-end smartphone market.
Jia said it was very important for Huawei to be No. 1. There is an urgent need to show domestic consumers, component suppliers and developers the strength of its brand.
But in the long run, Jia said, it will be difficult for Huawei to maintain its lead. Once the global economy starts to recover, the strength of the Chinese market alone won't be enough to keep Huawei at the top.
According to Canalys, in the second quarter of 2020, in the $600-plus smartphone market, Apple's share is 57.3 percent, Huawei's is 16.5 percent, Samsung's is 16.4 percent, and in mainland China the figures are 51.1 percent for Huawei and 37.6 percent for Apple, respectively.
Huawei unveiled the new Mate40 series for the international market on October 22, and Mo Jia said, "Huawei's P series and Mate series devices have amazing brand awareness in the high-end segment in China. Demand for the Mate40 series is expected to be strong in China, but nonetheless, the parts ban may limit the total number of new smartphones Huawei can produce in the face of US sanctions."
In the third and fourth quarters of last year, Huawei shipped 11 million units of the Mate 30 series in China, and the agency expects Chinese shipments of the Mate 40 series to reach 10 million units.
Canalys said local Chinese rivals have been vying for Apple's market share for years, despite the release of the second-generation iPhone SE, which boosted shipments by 14.1 percent in the first half of this year.