In a game of "could've, would've, should've", Huawei CEO Richard Yu shared his opinion on the hypothetical state of the mobile market in 2022 if the US hadn't imposed sanctions upon Huawei. According to Mr Yu, "If it weren't for the US's intervention and suppression of [Huawei], the world's major mobile phone manufacturers might be Huawei and Apple."
What's more, shots were also fired in the direction of South Korea, as Huawei's CEO bundled Samsung with all other rivals claiming the “Others are small manufacturers, including the Korean company (Samsung), which may be mainly sold in the US and South Korea markets.”
Calling Samsung a "small factor" definitely doesn't sound right, as Huawei spent years upon years trying to catch up with the South Korea-based company. Once it did actually overtake Samsung, Huawei sadly dipped down due to the effects of the trade ban hitting hard.
As a refresher, Huawei was gradually creeping up to the very top of the phone market traditionally ruled by Samsung and Apple. Actually briefly surpassed Samsung in market in April 2020, a whole year after the infamous US trade ban went into effect. At the time, driven by strong sales across mainland China, Huawei surpassed Samsung by 2% market share and accounted for 19% of all global phone sales, while Samsung's share was 17% due to the lackluster Galaxy S20 series, all according to Counterpoint Research's 2020 stats.
Essentially, Huawei fulfilled its 2018 promise to become the market leader by sales volumes.
Surely, there's no way of knowing how things would have transpired if the US hadn't placed Huawei on the Entity List and essentially enforced its trade ban. Due to it, Huawei was prevented from using Google's Play Services framework, which stripped away one of the most vital aspects of a modern Android device. The Entity List also prevented the company from working with any company that operates in the United States, as well as prevented them from receiving cutting edge chips.