Huawei Beats Apple to Become World’s No. 2 Largest Smartphone Seller
Multiple market analysts said that Huawei’s rise came as the slowdown in China, the world’s largest market for smartphones, eased, with growing market share in Europe.
The Chinese phone maker shipped 54 million handsets in the quarter, an increase of 41 percent over last year, researcher Canalys reported Tuesday. Its success was due in part to strong demand for its flagship P20 handset and its Honor sub-brand, the researcher said.
“The importance of Huawei overtaking Apple this quarter cannot be overstated,” said Canalys analyst Ben Stanton. “It is the first time in seven years that Samsung and Apple have not held the top two positions.”
Approximately 351m smartphones were sold globally in the second quarter. Samsung retained the smartphone crown but lost ground to upstart Huawei by shipping 73 million units, an 8 percent decline year over year. Apple slipped to No. 3, shipping 41 million units with a growth rate of 1 percent.
“Consumers remain willing to pay more for premium offerings in numerous markets and they now expect their device to outlast and outperform previous generations of that device which cost considerably less a few years ago,” Anthony Scarsella from IDC.
Market researcher IDC reported similar numbers for smartphone shipments. It also said Tuesday that Apple could surge in the coming months with the expected introduction of new iPhone models.
“It is worth noting that Apple moved into the top position each of the last two holiday quarters following its product refresh, so it’s likely we’ll see continued movement among the top ranked companies in 2018 and beyond,” said Ryan Reith, an IDC vice president, in a statement.
“The continued growth of Huawei is impressive, to say the least, as is its ability to move into markets where, until recently, the brand was largely unknown,” said Ryan Reith, programme vice president of IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Tracker.
Huawei said Tuesday that overall it had 15% higher revenue in the first six months of 2018, steady at levels seen a year ago. Revenue rose to 325.7bn yuan (£36.52bn), while operating margin rose to 14%, from 11% a year ago.
Huawei’s consumer division, which houses its smartphones business, accounted for roughly a third of its total revenue last year. It got half its revenue from its mobile phone network.