US sanctions on Huawi are starting to show in Finnish telephone sales.
After the Chinese company lost the right to use Google services on its phones, the market share of Huawei and Honor phones has clearly decreased.
According to statistics published by major Finnish retailers, all Huawei-manufactured phones, with the exception of low-cost Huawei Smart P and Honor 7S devices, have disappeared from the top lists of stores.
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According to Ville Valkama, Elisa's Vice President, Personal Equipment, sales of Huawei and Honor phones have about halved from last year.
At Elisa, they accounted for almost 30 percent of sales in August, now the figure is 15 percent.
Older phones with Google services are starting to age, and Huawei’s proprietary phones have not been a substitute.
- During September, this began to show.
Huawei and Honor's new portfolio has not found its place in the market yet.
They are acquired by a certain group of pioneers, but the old ones are not replaced by new ones, Valkama says.
Elisa currently accounts for less than 10 percent of Huawei's own-service equipment's total sales.
However, their share will increase as total sales decline as older phones leave the market.
- We will definitely see a period when Huawei and Honor's market share is quite small.
Time will tell whether the HMS platform [Huawei's own services] will develop in such a way that it can genuinely challenge Google, Valkama says.
- Huawei has put so many bangs on the development of its platform that I believe it will come from there at some point.
But it’s up to how to get application developers involved.
Valkama does not consider Huawei's return to 30 per cent likely to be likely, at least by next summer.
He points out that this is a software-level issue.
On the hardware side, Huawei is doing very well.
- The Huawei P40 series camera is clearly the market leader.
But without a working [software] platform, it’s just a camera, Valkama says.
According to Sami Aavikko, CEO of DNA Kauppa, we cannot talk about the actual collapse, even though the market share of Huawei and Honor has fallen from more than 30 percent to about 20 with DNA.
While Huawei’s overall sales are still in pretty good shape, people haven’t found the Chinese manufacturer’s AppGallery phones, which lack Google’s services and app store.
Their share of Huawei's total sales is "very small".
- Consumers are skeptical about them when not all the applications they need are available.
In the past, it might have been enough to have the top 20 applications available for the device.
Now, the consumer just needs some particular rarer app if he buys headphones or a smart device for the home, Desert says.
- The situation is difficult for Huawei.
They are actively working to improve the application offering.
But this is an egg-chicken problem because the equipment base is small.
The situation may improve later as Google makes it easier for other app stores to enter Android alongside Play.
However, this will be a little further in the future, and even then it is not known whether the authors will leave their applications for more trade.
Read more: Android app store changes - money talks
At the same time, older phones based on Google services are starting to reach the end of their life cycle.
The older affordable Huawei Smart P sells well, but other devices are more difficult.
- Although the [still includes Google services] Huawei P30 is still a top phone, the phone business is advancing with the power of novelties, Aavikko says.
People buy a lot of phones over a period of 2-3 years with 5g in mind.
This eats up sales of older, Google-based Huawei devices, as there are no 5g phones among them.
Jussi Vuorinen, President of Telia's Equipment Business, largely confirms DNA's findings.
- Huawei's sales have been declining slightly, but no dramatic drop is visible.
Of the smaller brands, OnePlus and Xiaomi, among others, have increased their share, Vuorinen says.
According to Gigant's sales manager Mikko Pesonen, there has been no major change in Huawei's sales in the long term.
Its sales slumped last year after the US launched its sanctions, but have leveled off since then.
The number one product Huawei Smart P has held its own and been at the top of Gigant’s sales list in recent months.
Pesonen does not want to speculate on the future of Huawei or the phones.
- There is now one more option for Apple and [Google] Android, Pesonen says.
The biggest beneficiaries since Huawei's slump have been Xiaomi and OnePlus.
The latter has suffered from delivery difficulties with the new Nord phone, so the manufacturer could have won even more.
Samsung, the market leader in Android phones, has also strengthened its position.
Apple's share is fairly unchanged, normally at around 22-25% in DNA stores.
The position of HMD's Nokia phones has remained fairly stable at just under 10 percent.