Huawei's South African business is still booming, with the company positioned to take on Samsung's total smartphone market share.
Speaking at a media event in Johannesburg, Huawei CTO Akhram Mohamed said that Huawei has continued to see accelerated growth, both in the South African and its global market.
The company shipped 24% more units globally in the first half of 2019 than in the same period last year, with a large proportion of its sales occurring outside of China.
In South Africa, Huawei's market share is now 37.9% for smartphones which are priced at $ 100 or above.
Additionally, the smaller value share has improved from 18.2% in 2017 to 34.5% in the second quarter of 2019, while Samsung's value share has dropped from 48.9% to 40.8% over the same period.
Mohamed said that Huawei was still confident it could overtake Samsung going forward, as the company has quickly shrugged off any lost sales due to escalating tensions between the United States and China.
In May 2019, Huawei was placed on the US Entity List, which prevented US companies from conducting business with Huawei.
This has had severe implications for the future of Huawei's smartphone business, as the company relies heavily on Google's Android operating system as well as its various platforms and services from other US-based companies.
Before the ban was finally lifted, Huawei South Africa released a statement to local smartphone owners saying they would not be affected by the trade ban and thanking them for their dedication to the brand.
Mohamed said Huawei's engagement with its customer base in South Africa has led directly to the recovery of its sales, placing it on the path to overtake Samsung as the country's largest smartphone brand.
"We're way ahead of Apple and not far behind from Samsung," Mohamed said. "This shows us that our products are loved and trusted in the local market."
He said the dip in sales due to the US ban lasted only a month before Huawei's smartphone volumes recovered.
"It's difficult that we just recovered, we recovered to the same kind of levels," Mohamed said. "Right now, our smartphones are sold in the stores as if nothing happened."
Despite the global conflict, Huawei has continued to build a strong presence in South Africa, launching new devices to respond to Samsung's recently-launched Galaxy A Series lineup.
The new Y9 Prime 2019 is aimed directly at the mid-range market, offering flagship features such as a pop-up front-facing camera, bezel-less display and triple-lens rear camera array.
Huawei is also upgrading its devices to EMUI 10 – the latest version of its mobile operating system based on Android 10.
The company also recently unveiled its new Harmony OS software, which it said could be launched immediately For its smartphones it should be blocked from the Android ecosystem.
Harmony OS is not designed as an Android replacement; However, the software is an ambitious project that aims to deliver an ubiquitous, distributed platform for all smart devices.
Now that the storm's volatile decisions from the US government regarding Huawei have somewhat abated, the company is back on track in South Africa and its consumer confidence is higher than ever.