Huawei overtakes Apple in smartphone shipments

Written by NTN staff

Huawei achieved a major milestone in Q2 2018, becoming the world’s number two smartphone vendor. It is the first time in seven years that Samsung and Apple have not held the top two positions.

Huawei shipped 54 million handsets, up 41% year on year, a performance partly due to strong sell-in of its latest flagship, the P20, which exceeded launch quarter sell-in of both the P10 and P9, according to analysts. Another big reason for Huawei’s success is its Honor sub-brand, which accounted for two thirds of the near 16 million jump that Huawei made this quarter.

Huawei’s rise was also driven by its sales in China, where it led the market with a record-high share of 27.0 percent in the second quarter. Increasing brand recognition in Europe and Asia is enabling the company to challenge Samsung in many price segments, noted IHS.

Apple fell to third, shipping 41 million iPhones, a 1% year-on-year. However, Apple is expected to move back into the top two next quarter with the expected launch of three next generations of iPhone models.

Samsung remained the top vendor in Q2, but felt the impact of Huawei and others, slipping 8% to 73 million shipments. Samsung suffered the biggest decline in the second quarter as a result.

Xiaomi and Oppo rounded out the top five with sales of 31.9 million and 29.4 million for market shares of 9.3 percent and 8.6 percent respectively.

Overall, global smartphone shipments fell for the third consecutive quarter in April to June, declining 1.8% to 342 million units compared to the 348.2 million units shipped a year earlier, according to the latest report from IDC. The figure closely mirror those if IHS Markit. The fall was only the fourth quarterly decline in history, attributed to churn in some highly penetrated markets, although the report said many high growth markets still exist and should return smartphone shipments to overall growth.

Combined shipment volume of four Chinese manufacturers — Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi — reached 145.4 million units, which is bigger than the 114-million-unit combined shipment volume of market leaders Apple and Samsung. The second quarter was also the first time these top four Chinese manufacturers shipped more smartphones than the two leading companies, according to IHS.