Samsung goes after Huawei smartphone users

Samsung Electronics is moving to take smartphone users away from Huawei as the Chinese tech giant struggles amid U.S. restrictions aimed at it.

Samsung Singapore has been hosting a special event this month, offering potentially massive discounts of up to 755 Singapore dollars ($550) to customers who trade in their Huawei smartphones for Galaxy S10s.

In its program, Samsung offers an additional trade-in value of 200 Singapore dollars on Huawei smartphones. The firm’s program covers the Huawei P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro and Nova 3i models.

Intentional or not, the special offer coincides with President Donald Trump’s administration implementing sanctions on Huawei amid the escalating U.S.-China trade war, which has raised uncertainty among Huawei users.

Google said it would comply with U.S. government restrictions, which could restrict Huawei devices’ access to the Android operating system. Google said it would continue to support existing Huawei smartphones, but future devices running on Android are set to lose access to some popular apps including Gmail and YouTube.

This is not the first time for Samsung to carry out a trade-in program in Singapore, where Huawei has shown rapid growth. But the ongoing promotion will likely help the Korean tech giant increase its market share as prices of used Huawei smartphones are hitting bottom.

“The trade-in program began May 1, targeting smartphone models of Samsung and Apple as well as Huawei,” a company official said.

Amid turmoil from the U.S.-China trade dispute, industry analysts have issued reports that Samsung Electronics will have an opportunity to strengthen its position in the stagnating global smartphone market.

Samsung has remained the world’s top smartphone maker, but has been closely chased by Huawei.

Ratings agency Fitch said Google’s suspension of business operations with Huawei could “significantly hurt” the firm’s smartphone sales outside China, which could help Samsung boost its global market share.

“Consumers familiar with the Android operating system are likely to consider buying smartphone brands other than Huawei, and Samsung could restore its market share especially in regions such as Europe, Asia ex-China and South America where Huawei achieved most of its growth in recent quarters,” Fitch said.

According to industry tracker Strategy Analytics, Samsung Electronics had a 21.7 percent market share in the global smartphone market in the first quarter of the year, while Huawei had 17.9 percent.

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