Huawei has lost its smartphone crown. It may never get it back

On Wednesday, the Chinese tech giant acknowledged that its smartphone business was suffering as US sanctions continue to stifle its growth, cutting off the company's ability to obtain critical components for its devices.

"Because of the unfair sanctions placed on us by the US, our mobile phone business saw a revenue decline," Huawei chairman Ken Hu said at a press conference in Shenzhen following the release of the company's latest earnings report.

The private company declined to specify how much revenue the unit lost last year, but the admission came as little surprise. According to data from Gartner and Counterpoint , Huawei is no longer the market leader in China, let alone globally.

Sales of Huawei's other consumer electronics — including laptops, tablets and wearable devices -— jumped 65% last year compared to 2019. Huawei has expanded its lineup of connected devices in recent years, and the latest results gives "us more confidence in our strategy," Hu said.

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