Huawei beats Apple in smartphone sales for the first time

India premium market share courtesy Counterpoint Research

Huawei beats Apple in smartphone sales for the first time

Huawei shipped 54 million handsets during the second quarter, up 41 per cent year-on-year and a performance that was...

Apple recorded a stellar quarter but was still overtaken by Huawei in the smartphone sales world rankings.

To be sure, that's likely going to change in a quarter or two, at most, with Apple ramping up per the usual rhythms and seasonal ebb and flow of its iPhone sales cycle.

Huawei has nearly no market share in the US, due to government accusations that it is tied to the Chinese government.

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Huawei's success follows its stated ambition to ship 200 million handsets to both domestic and global markets in 2018 after shipping 100 million phones as of July 18, the fastest pace of shipments the Chinese company has seen in years.

According to multiple analytics firms, those numbers were more than enough to propel Huawei past Apple and into the number two spot as the second-largest smartphone brand in the world by devices sold.

"Huawei had a good second quarter in 2018 as it shipped more smartphones than Apple to capture the second spot in the global smartphone rankings, after seven years of Apple-Samsung dominance", said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research. Samsung captured 34 percent share of the premium segment while Apple 14 percent, its lowest ever.

Despite Apple's big rally on Wednesday after a strong third-quarter report, with shares hitting the $200 mark and the company inching closer to becoming the first trillion-dollar company, the tech giant is losing its sales luster to a Chinese smartphone maker.

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"Huawei with its Honor brand is offering a broad and recently refreshed portfolio at affordable prices that is driving growth in the overseas market".

"Huawei's momentum will obviously concern Samsung, but it should also serve as a warning to Apple, which needs to ship volume to support its growing services division", Stanton said in a statement.

OnePlus India general manager Vikas Agarwal said the brand had become the largest premium brand in India in little over three years.

The Chinese brands are now trying to control the premium segment with Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi launching devices this year. That momentum for the iPhone X, which starts at $1,000, wasn't sustained into the second quarter, the firm said.

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Sigmaintell also estimated that global smartphone shipments totaled 604 million units in the first half of 2018, down 3.3% on year.

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