(Yicai Global) Aug. 21 -- China's Huawei Technologies could leverage its domestic lead in fifth-generation phones to stand up against Samsung Electronics, the No. 1 global handset behemoth, in offshore markets, according to an executive at a global consultancy.
"If China meets its aggressive targets, Huawei could cut deeply into Samsung's 5G leadership, positioning it for recovery and growth in Western Europe and other global markets," David Kerr, senior vice president at Strategy Analytics, said in a research report.
"China holds the key to 5G volumes in 2020," said Associate Director Ville-Petteri Ukonaho. "The winner in China will have huge leverage for driving down the learning curve of 5G devices." By next year, global 5G phones sales are expected to reach 160 million each year and half of that will take place in China, the report added.
Samsung has a slim chance of beating Huawei in the latter's home turf. By the second quarter, the Shenzhen-based firm already controlled 40 percent of the Chinese handset market whereas Seoul's Samsung had a 1 percent market share in China, according to the consultancy.
Huawei has narrowed the gap between it and the South Korean electronics giant in overseas markets. In the second quarter, Samsung's global smartphone shipments rose 6 percent from the previous year to 76.9 million, representing a 23.2 percent market share, according to market research firm Canalysis. Huawei ranked second with 58.7 million shipments, up 8 percent, and a market share of 17.7 percent.
Huawei's first 5G phone Mate 20 X 5G, priced at CNY6,199 (USD879), was launched in China on Aug. 16. Before that, Shenzhen's ZTE released its Axon 10 Pro 5G on Aug. 5. However, Oppo Mobile Telecommunications claimed the title of the maker of the world's first 5G phone as the Dongguan-based firm started selling Oppo Reno 5G in Switzerland in May. Besides Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo Communication Technology are planning to bring their 5G handset offering to the domestic market soon.
Editor: Emmi Laine