Aug 01, 2018 07:15 PM

Huawei Passes Apple in Global Smartphone Sales

* Apple Inc. slips to third place, while Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. retains top spot

* Apple is set to regain control of the market this fall with the expected launch of new iPhone models, according to data tracker IDC

(Beijing) — Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. unseated archrival Apple Inc. to become the world’s second-largest smartphone firm by quarterly shipments in the three months ending in June, with a year-on-year increase of 40%, reports from two research firms said.

China’s top smartphone-maker shipped over 54 million units in the second quarter of the year, according to data trackers IDC and Counterpoint Research.

“The arrival of Huawei in the second position marks the first quarter since 2Q10 where Apple has not been the number one or two smartphone company in terms of market share,” IDC said in a news release Tuesday.

Apple fell to third place, shipping 41.3 million iPhones, a 0.7% year-on-year increase. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. retained its top spot with 71.5 million units shipped, 10.4% fewer than the same period last year, IDC said.

The continued growth of Huawei “is impressive,” as is its ability to move into markets where until recently it was largely unknown, said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, in the statement.

In the second quarter, Huawei’s shipments expanded 75% year-on-year in Europe, rose 67% in the Middle East and Africa, and surged 188% in India, where its sub-brand Honor was well-received, according to Counterpoint.


Honor was originally launched in 2013 as a cost-effective smartphone brand targeting younger Chinese consumers. It made its first international foray a year later and has since expanded into higher-end phones. The popularity of Honor drove Huawei’s China market share to 27% in the second quarter, the highest held by any brand since the second quarter of 2011.

Apple’s shipments in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, remained flat or contracted slightly in the second quarter, third-market researcher Canalys said, without revealing the exact figures.

However, the relatively high average price of the iPhone X and the popularity of Apple Watches and AirPod earphones helped push up its China revenue, an industry analyst told Caixin, as the U.S. giant announced Tuesday a 19% jump in second-quarter revenue in the Greater China region to $13 billion.

Despite losing steam in the second quarter, Apple is set to regain control of the market this fall with the expected launch of three next-generation iPhone models, IDC said. It is rumored that the new models will offer a variety of screen sizes and price points, among other new features, IDC reported.

According to Counterpoint, Xiaomi Corp. was the world’s fourth-largest smartphone company in the second quarter, with 33 million smartphones shipped, followed by Chinese peers Oppo Electronics Corp. and Vivo Electronics Corp.

“Xiaomi remained one of the fastest growing brands (+43%) in Q2 2018, driven by record shipment in India with 112% annual growth. The brand’s shipments beyond China and India increased 186% annually in the quarter,” it said.

Contact reporter Jason Tan (

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