Huawei passes Apple in global market share for the first time

Isaac Cain
August 3, 2018

While the report did not disclose the number of devices shipped, market experts estimate that quarterly smartphone shipments range between 1-1.5 million units. The latest sales figure is the reason why the Chinese firm has overtaken Apple as the second most popular smartphone brand in the world, with just Samsung standing in its path. This is a new trend where "affordable ultra-premium" is wooing aspiring rich and young consumers away from more expensive offerings from likes of Samsung and Apple.

The report also showed that Huawei's time in second place might be short-lived as Samsung and Apple were set to release new devices, respectively, in August and September 2018. It said Huawei shipped almost 4 million Honor-branded smartphones outside of China for the quarter, registering a 150 percent year-on-year increase.

Samsung Electronics, the biggest smartphone maker globally but nearly a bit player in China, on Tuesday posted its slowest quarterly profit growth in more than a year as its Galaxy S9 lost ground to rivals.

According to Canalys' data, Huawei shipped 54.2 million handsets last quarter, which is up 41% year-over-year. That's despite a 10.4 percent decline from a year ago. Samsung has been facing severe competition from Chinese manufacturers, especially Huawei and Xiaomi. The company reached over 40 percent market share in the premium segment (Rs 30,000-plus) in the April-June quarter compared to 9 percent in the same period past year in 2017. It has, in fact, gone on to become the largest smartphone brand in China.

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In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the iPhone X has been the top-selling iPhone since its launch.

Xiaomi ranked fourth worldwide with shipments totaling 60 million units for an 8.7% share, an increase of 4pp from a year earlier.

"The Asia-Pacific region posted the biggest growth in the second quarter, rising 107 per cent year over year, while Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recorded more than 60 percent growth", Schneemann says. Their 15.8 percent is still a ways behind Samsung at 20.9 percent but with Samsung recording a -10.4 year on year change it may not be long before Huawei are threatening Samsung for that top position.

"Major Chinese brands like Oppo, Vivo, Huawei are now focusing on increasing their average selling prices (ASPs) by bringing in features like artificial intelligence, bezel-less displays, dual cameras and innovative industrial designs in the affordable premium segment", explained Research Analyst Shobhit Srivastava.

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