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HUAWEI will ship 230 million smartphones in 2019, proving limits of US influence

Just think of how big that number would have been if the US ban on HUAWEI wasn't in effect.

Published onDecember 20, 2019

HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro vs P20 Pro

According to Sina Technology News (via GSM Arena), HUAWEI CEO Richard Yu announced at an internal meeting that HUAWEI smartphone shipments in 2019 will hit 230 million units total. That is a huge number of smartphones, especially when you consider the HUAWEI ban has been in effect for the bulk of the year.

In October, HUAWEI revealed that it had shipped 200 million smartphones in 2019, which means between then and now it shipped around 30 million more. While that’s certainly a lot, it would have likely been so much more had the HUAWEI ban not been in effect.

This astounding total tells us a few things, the biggest of which is that HUAWEI seems to be able to survive just fine without any business from the United States. Now, it’s not likely HUAWEI could sustain growth and stability in the current environment, but the US ban doesn’t appear to be hurting the company as drastically as the Trump administration likely hoped it would.

Related: The HUAWEI and US debacle: The story so far

On the flip side, the number of HUAWEI smartphone shipments also tells us that the US ban is likely having a negative effect on the company’s sales. If between January and October the company pushed out 200 million phones, theoretically it should have shipped out more than 30 million during the busy holiday months. In other words, HUAWEI is clearly not seeing a devastating effect from the US ban, but it appears to be seeing at least some negative effects.

In 2018, HUAWEI smartphone shipments reached 200 million units, so the company was still able to grow in 2019. However, can it sustain that through 2020 without access to Google, Arm, or other US-based firms? Time will tell.

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