Huawei overtakes Apple as #2 world’s largest smartphone vendor

Samsung remains at the top
Huawei nova 3e

According to latest research from Strategy Analytics and International Data Corporation (IDC), global smartphone shipments continue to fall, marking a third consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines. Smartphone shipments reached 350 million units in Q2 2018. What’s interesting is that Huawei overtook Apple for the first time ever, to become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor.

Global smartphone shipments fell from 360.4 million units in Q2 2017 to 350.4 million in Q2 2018. Strategy Analytics cites a slower market this year due to “longer replacement rates, diminishing carrier subsidies, and lack of new hardware design innovation.”

IDC on the other hand reports a similar downtrend, although numbers differ slightly. The data research company reported that smartphone shipments totalled 342.0 million units in Q2 2018, a decline of 1.8 percent from 348.2 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter.

Q2 2018 Global Smartphone Marketshare
Data: IDC, Q2 2018

Samsung continues to rule to roost, shipping 71.5 million smartphones worldwide in Q2 2018. However, unit shipments actually fell 10 percent from 79.5 million units in Q2 2017. This is the South Korean tech giant’s worst quarterly performance since Q3 2016. Its flagship Galaxy S9 series has seen slower than expected sales, with the mid-range segment being squeezed by Chinese rivals like Xiaomi and Huawei.

In major markets like China and India, the Chinese brands have edged Samsung one with better spec-ed and more aggressively priced products.

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Samsung hopes the Galaxy Note9, which will be revealed earlier than expected, will bolster sales.

The big winner this quarter is Huawei, which soared 41 percent annually from 38.4 million units shipped in Q2 2017 to a record 54.2 million units in Q2 2018. Huawei captured 15 percent of global smartphone marketshare, edging out Apple for the very first time.

Strong performance from its mid-range nova 2s and nova 3e in Asia and Europe has contributed to the brand’s meteoric rise.

Apple actually did well in Q2 2018, despite challenging market conditions and intensified competition. Apple grew 1 percent annually and shipped 41.3 million iPhones for 12 percent global marketshare.

The Cupertino company continues to do well in the lucrative high-end market, with the iPhone X remaining a top seller in many markets. As announced in its quarterly financial report today, Apple achieved its best June quarter ever.

The company will look to regain its position from Huawei in the coming quarter, with the impending launch of a three-model iPhone line-up.

Another big winner is Xiaomi, who continue to churn out aggressively-priced products at a furious pace. Post-IPO, the Chinese upstart kicked Samsung off the number one position in India over the past few quarters and is starting to threaten in other markets like Indonesia as well.

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After a seemingly quiet two years, Xiaomi is back with a vengeance, claiming 9.3 percent to be fourth in the global smartphone rankings.

OPPO on the other hand has had a slower quarter in India and most of Southeast Asia as it eased back on its aggressive marketing and sales activities. The company still grew 5.1 percent over last year. Its latest OPPO Find X may have garnered industry acclaim, but it’s more of a technological showcase rather than an expected sales driver. The upcoming OPPO F9 as well as bread-and-butter mid-range models may change its fate in the coming quarter.

Source: Strategy Analytics, IDC

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