Huawei shipped the most smartphone units for the first time in the second quarter of 2020 at 55.8 million units, ahead of Samsung which shipped 54.3 million units during the quarter, according to new data from Omdia.

Huawei’s shipments were down 4.9% compared to the previous corresponding quarter. In comparison, Samsung shipments declined 27.7% year-on-year. Despite continued sanctions from the US government, Huawei has been able to mitigate impacts on its international business to claim the global top spot. Many of Samsung’s most important markets were significantly impacted by COVID-19, particularly emerging markets which accounted for more than 70% of Samsung’s overall shipment in 2019.

The total smartphone market experienced a 15.7% shipment decline in unit terms year-on-year to 279.7 million units. For most OEMs, the second quarter was another quarter of negative growth, although Apple bucked the trend and increased shipments by 13.1% on the back of its iPhone 11 and iPhone SE products.

Omdia director of smartphone research, Jusy Hong said, “With the launch of the iPhone SE in April, Apple has released a long-desired product with an attractive price. The launch added a new iPhone model into Apple’s product mix just as lockdown restrictions had reached important markets such as the US.”

For other OEMs like Realme, vivo and Xiaomi, the pandemic and governmental issues contributed to a challenging second quarter. Vivo saw shipments decline 16.7% during the quarter with Oppo experiencing an even larger decline of 26.9% year-on-year and Xiaomi’s shipments down 10.7%.

LG shipped 24.4% fewer smartphones at 6.7 million units as it struggles against mid-range competition from Chinese OEMs. Motorola shipments were down 10.8% year-on-year and the pandemic impacted the relaunch of its Razr foldable device, just as the company was set to return to unit and market share growth.